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A

  W ~
Restorer's
Corner
$!I ....R. NIELANDER
J
"'R.
Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Charles
A. Lindbergh's non-stop solo flight from New York to
Paris on May 20-21, 1927, has been the theme of almost
every large aviation-oriented activity, both in th is
country and abroad, for the past several months. Your
EAA Museum staff, along with the help and contribu-
tions of many other individuals and organizations, built
and flew a replica of the Ryan NYP in just under five
months. This replica, test flown by Paul Poberezny in
late March, made its initial public appearance at the
Spirit of St. Louis dedication ceremony on April 20th
near the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River bank at
St. Louis. This dedication heralded the start of the com-
memorative activities. On April 27th the NYP replica
was· introduced to Chicago with ceremonies at Meigs
Field, Chicago's lakefront airport. Subsequently, a large
fund raising dinner was held in New York by the re-
cently organized Lindbergh Memorial Foundation with
Mrs. Lindbergh attending as guest of honor.
On May 20th the Antique Airplane Club of Greater
New York sponsored a reenactment of Lindbergh's
take-off using the Spirit of St. Louis replica former ly
owned by Dave Jameson, EAA Museum Vice-President
and past President of your Antique/Classic Division. A
special commemorative program honoring Lindbergh
was held at the Paris Air Show. On June 15th the EAA
Ryan NYP replica took off from LaGuardia Airport in
New York to reenact Lindbergh's good will tour visiting
102 cities around the Un ited States including Oshkosh
for convention week. Tuesday, Aug. 2, will be celebrated
as "Lindbergh Day".
"'-----
Although I was privileged to receive a personal invita-
tion to each of the aforementioned commemorative
activities, the demands of my occupation precluded my
being able to attend any of them. However, I felt ex-
tremely fortunate to be able to commemorate Lind-
bergh' s trans-Atlantic flight in a far more active way
than being a spectator at a ceremony. I made my own
Lindbergh commemorative trans-Atlantic crossing
departing the United States on May 20th and arriving in
Europe on May 21 st, just as he had done 50 years
before. To be sure, Idid not depart Roosevelt Field, and
I did not land at Le Bourget, nor was I flying solo, nor
was I flying single engine behind a propellor, but my
thoughts that entire night were on the man and his
machine who, because of what he had accomplished 50
years earlier, had enabled me to enjoy the career which I
so dearly love.
I thought about the absurdities which 50 years had
brought to the comparison of our flights. He had flown
solo in a single engine steel tube, wood and fabric mono-
plane with little more than a compass with which to
navigate and a fuel load of less than 500 gallons. He had
cruised at around 100 MPH, and he had found it nec-
essary to vary his altitude from several thousand feet
down to the wave tops because of weather conditions.
Here was I at 37,000 feet, well above any weather,
cruising at 550 MPH, and aided by a full crew, modern
communications, and an automatic navigation system.
My aircraft was of all metal construction, was powered
by four fan-jet engines, had been loaded with 18,500
gallons of fuel, and had weighed 161 tons at take-off. He
made the crossing in a little over 33 hours, but, although
I was flying a farther distance, I arrived in just 8Jf2 hours.
My thoughts turned from the absurdities of this com-
parison to Lindbergh's later accomplishments, and how
they had affected my own life. Shortly after his
New York to Paris flight, he accepted employment with
Pan American Airways as a technical director. In this
capacity he flew many survey and inaugural flights, and
he helped in the development of new aircraft designs
which were being built to fullfill this air line's needs. Few
realize that Charl es A. Lindbergh was actively associated
with Pan American World Airways during most of his
career and that he was a member of the Board of Direc-
tors of the airline until he resigned because of poor
health just three months before his death. In his various
ai rline capacities he influenced the development of
every transport aircraft pioneered by Pan Am up
through the Boeing 747. Yes, he had indeed had a hand
in the development of that very aircraft which I was
flying on that 50th anniversary trans-Atlantic flight.
Lindbergh traveled extensively in his work for Pan
American, and many stories are told by the flight crews
about his interest in over-water navigation. He would
frequently spend the entire crossing in the cockpit look-
ing over the shoulder of the navigator and watching him
plot the aircraft's position a long the route. On one such
occasion the navigator remarked to him, "Well, sir, this
is really much easier now than it was when you did it."
Lindbergh shook his head in disagreement and replied,
"No, it was much easier for me. All I had to do was find
Europe. You have to stay on track."
As I started my descent over the English Channel, I
thought about how much all of us who fly are indebted
to the courage, ability and knowledge of this o ne man,
and how I, in particular, am even more indebted to him
for making my career a reality. I mentally saluted my
departed fellow employee and wished him well on his
final journey.
EAA CONVENTION TIME (Oshkosh)
We extend a personal invitation to wi sit with us at the
Division's convention headquarters barn located Jf2 mile
south of the control tower. Also, please volunteer your
services for any of the several committees which are
constantly in need of peoplepower.
The convention forum schedule is a center fold pull-
out in this issue. Also, pl ease refer to the pullout center-
fold in the January issue of SPORT AVI A TI ON.
We sincerly hope that each of you who feels that he
has a show quality antique O( classic aircraft will display
it in one of the two Antique/Classic Exhibit Aircraft
Parking Areas. We shall be anxiously awaiting your
arrival.
SEE YOU AT OSHKOSH
ssociatfi' Edilo( 
H.    Buf·fington 
818W.  Crockep  St.  No. 201 
Seattl e,  Washington  98119 
ANTIOUE  AND CLASSIC 
DIVISION 
OFFICERS 
PRESIDENT 
J.R.  NIELANDER, JR. 
P,O, BOX  2464 
FT.  LAUDERDALE,  FL 33303 
VICE·PRESIDENT 
JACK WI NTH ROP 
RT.l. BOX111 
ALLEN. TX 75002 
SECRETARY 
RICHARD WAGNER 
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LYONS. WI  53148 
TREASURER 
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Editorial
Staff 
Editor  Assistant  Editor 
AI  Kelch  Lois  Kelch 
Associate  Editor  Associate Editor 
Robert  G.  Elli ott  Edward  D.  Wi ll iams 
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year). 
Directors 
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AI  KelCh 
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M.  C.  "Kelly"  Viets 
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Advisors 
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Indianapolis.  IN 46274 
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THE  V INTAGE  AIRPLANE  is owned  excl usi vel y  by  Ant ique  Cl assi c  Ai rcrah .  Inc.  and  is  publi shed  mo nthly  at 
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OFFICIAL  MAGAZINE 
ANTIQUE  /  CLASSIC 
DIVISION
of 
THE  EXPERIMENTAL  AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION 
P.O. Box 229 Hales Corners, Wis. 53130
JULY 1977  VOLUME  5  NUMBER  7 
Restorer' s Corner  .... , ..... , ..... , . ... .... , . , ............ . ...... ,2 
Lindbergh  - How  He  Does  It;  ..... , . .. .. .. .... ,', . .... .. . . .. , .. . ...3 
"We" Smash  More  Records  .. , ..... , .. ..... "  . , . , . .. .. . .. , ., . .... ,.7 
Teaching "Lindy" Navigat ion  ... ..... , ........ .. ...... , . , .......... . 8 
Lindbergh's Great  Partner  ... . .. . .. .. ........... . . . ......... .. ....11 
Vintage  Albu m  (by Robert Elliott, Associate Editor) .... ,  ... ,  ....... . ... ...13 
What  Lindbergh  Found  in  His  Mail  Bag  . . .... ... . , '  , .... ..... .. . . ....18 
Tracking the  'lost' barnstorming  pal  of ' Slim'  Lindbergh  ....... , . . . ... , . . 21 
The  First  Plane  to Germany  . ... . , ..... .... . . ... . ... ' . .. .. , .. . , ... ..25 
Lindbergh's Career  Highlights  .. .... . .. . ... .. ..... .... .......... , . ..26 
EAA  ANTIQUE/CLASSIC  DIVISION  MEMBERSHIP 
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ON THE  COVER 
"The Spirit of  St. Louis", alias
"The Spirit of EAA ",  flying natur-
ally over water. (Photo by Jack
Cox.)
PICTURE  BOX 
(Back  Cover) 
Leon Klink, Age 79,  Slim's old barn-
storming pal, taken at the St. Louis
Museum. See story page 27.
Copyright C  1977  Antique Classic  Aircraft.  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved. 

v e l. . 1 1 1. , 1\:0 .4
Lindbergh-How He Does It;
been asking
How does "Lindy" always succeed; always
will? It is a
famous aviator
Lindbergh's 50th Anni-
versary, this issue is mostly comprised of
Dale Crites, at the
Lindbergh's epic flight and are
then, unedited by
I thank Dale for sharing them with us,
and give credit to Popular Science Month-
most of the articles were
AI Kelch
MONTHLY
APRIL , 191.8 SUMNER N. BLOSSOM Editoy
An Amazing Revelation
H
ERE are answered the questions everybody has
in recent months-
. fly where he says he will, when he says he
fascinating story of the two sides of the
"
By CALEB JOHNSON
SLIM"LINDllERGH, an unknown aviator,
took off from Roosevelt Field on the morn-
ing of May 20, 1927, and landed at Paris the
following night. Colonel Charles A. Lind-
bergh came back from Paris on the Memphis,
a world-famous hero.
Everybody has been reading about Colonel Lindbergh
ever since. He has done things nobody ever did before.
He has made forty-eight flights in the United States, one
to every state, and always arrived precisely on schedule.
He has flown to Mexico, to the capitals of Central
America, to Panama, to Colombia, to Venezuela and to
the West Indies, again always on schedule.
And as "ambassador without portfolio" he has dis-
played a poise, a sense of modesty, a facility in saying
and doing the right thing at the right time which have
made some wonder whether he was not something more
than human. Not a single break. I set out to discover the
secret of Lindbergh's success as a flyer and as an unoffi-
cial diplomat and publ ic character. And I found - Slim.
Back of the Colonel, always Slim. Standing off and
looking at himself, as it were, Slim Lindbergh, deter-
mini ng in advance how Colonel Lindbergh ought to act,
Editor's Note:
I n honor of
articles collected by
time of
printed as they were
us.
ly from wh ich
gleaned.
3
talk, look, in any given set of circumstances. And
guiding Colonel Lindbergh's hand on the controls of the
Spirit of St. Louis was Slim Lindbergh, airman, with
everything figured out in advance- how to act, what to
do, in any flying emergency. In the air, indeed, Colonel
Lindbergh disappears. It is Slim Lindbergh alone up
there in the plane.
Do I make it clear? Let me illustrate with a story
Dick Blythe told me. Dick was Lindbergh's adviser on
public relations after the return from France; they lived
together, ate together, sometimes had to sleep together.
One rare evening when there were no engagements they
thought of going to the theater together.
"Hold on a minute," said Slim. "We've got to look at
Colonel Lindbergh. What ought the Colonel to do about
this?"
"What do you mean?" asked Blythe puzzled.
"Why, it's plain enough," replied Slim. "If I go to
the theater as somebody's guest, or as one of a special
party, there's no harm done. But if I go on my own
initiative, that's my deliberate choice of a show. Some-
body's going to make capital out of it. 'Lindy picked the
....... as the best show in New York.' Get me? Slim
can do as he pleases, but Colonel Lindbergh has got to
watch his step."
The incident contains the whole secret of Lindbergh's
success, both as a flyer and as an unofficial diplomat. It
boils down to one word - forethought.
That was the answer I got, in one form or another,
from everyone I hunted up who could throw light on the
mystery of Lindbergh. Pilots and mechanics who had
flown with him, who had serviced his plane and his
engine, been with him as ca:lets at Kelly Field in Texas
or gossipped with him in the airmen's favorite occupa-
tion of "ground flying"; men who had been on ship-
board with him, who have known him intimately in the
year since he flew to Paris, who have been his advisers in
many ways-all told me substantially the same thing.
Foresight - preparedness-constant study and
thought-always looking ahead, to be ready for any
situation-any emergency- that's Slim.
Before he took off from Washington for his recent
Latin-American flight, he had studied maps of every
country he planned to visit; he knew about every landing
field available; and by hours at the Navy Hydrographic
Office he had informed himself of prevailing weather
conditions, probable future conditions and even possible
conditions aloft and on the ground and in between. He
had obtained to take with him charts with all this data,
prepared by Navy experts.
Moreover, he had seen to it that his plane and engine
would be properly cared for at the several ports of call.
The United States Marines, the Army and Navy and the
Wright Company, manufacturers of his engine, all co-
operated with Latin-American air experts in providing
the mechanical care upon which Lindbergh knows suc-
cessful flight depends.
That's one picture of Lindbergh's foresight. Add to it
a personality which is instantly appealing and attractive,
to men as well as to women, and you have accounted for
all of Lindbergh's successes. And in hunting for the
secret of these successes, I found another picture of
Lindbergh, one which the public has not seen at all-
Slim Lindbergh, practical joker.
There's a hint of it in We, Lindbergh's book, where
Lindy tells of a certain episode involving a sergeant, a
skunk and the enforced ventilation of the barracks. He
doesn't confess, in his book, but Ted Moseley, who
hasn't been heard from since he left Daytona Beach last
January to fly north with films of President Coolidge's
visit to Havana, put that episode entirely up to Slim.
On the Memphis, coming back from Paris, Slim rigged
up a gadget to work a shower bath from the outside. He
tried it first on a newspaperman who, fully clothed and
expecting to get a "human interest'" item out of the
"invention" Slim asked him to inspect, stepped under
the shower and got literally "all wet" when Lindbergh
pulled the string. Officers in full uniform, hearing the
commotion, seeking its source, were enjoying a good
laugh at the newspaperman's expense when Slim pulled
the string again.
An irrepressible boy-that's one side of Slim. A boy
whose idea of fun takes such forms as tying Dick
Blythe's toe to the bedpost with a necktie, after Dick
had gone to sleep, and having himself called early so as
to be sure to be on hand when Dick, trying to jump out
of bed, landed on his head. Go down to one of the great
air fields on Long Island and do some ground flying with
"Casey" J ones, "Merry" Merrill and the other airmen if
you want to hear of pitchers of cracked ice emptied into
other fellows' beds, glasses of water carefully spilled on
the seats of chairs in which high-hatted and dignified
exponents of aviation were about to sit down-and did.
Yet Slim, according to the men who knew him in the
old "barnstorming" days and at Kelly Field, never was a
"mixer." A good enough sport, when with the crowd,
The Colonel "Slim"
The Colonel: Charles A. Lindbergh at a formal public
function, being a personage successfully, not because he
enjoys it, but because it is the thing expected of him and
so he has learned to do it.
Slim: Charles A. Lindbergh, world's matchless genius of
flight - the real Lindbergh. With flying togs put over eve-
ning attire for a quick flight, he will in a moment be
"where he lives, .. in the air.
4
at Hasbrouck While "Slim" Lindbergh rests
Heights, N./ ., a mechanic overhauls his plane
but seldom with the crowd by preference. He doesn't
drink, and he never exhibited the interest in girls which
most young men of his age have. "They interfere with a
fellow's work," he told a friend. And Slim's work is
flying.
"He'd land on the field and say howdy to any other
flyers that happened to be there, get the necessary in·
formation about gas and supplies and then just flock by
himself," said one who remembered Slim as a barn-
stormer.
He followed the same habit at Kelly, Ted Moseley
said. "A lone bird, always busy, but always by himself
when possible. He always had some problem working
out in his mind. He had to be busy all the time, and
would tinker with his plane all day, when he wasn't
flying. Talking to nobody except about things concerned
with flying. When he did join the bunch, as often as not
a practical joke was Slim's way of relieving his mental
tension. "
He works that way today. Studying all the time;
thinking out problems of flying. It isn't a sport, a
pastime, or merely a means of livelihood with him; it is
his whole life. · Everything else bores him . He goes
through with formal functions, offical visits to foreign
countries, because those are part of the program of pro-
moting public interest in flying. But once the curtain
drops, Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, public character, dis-
appears and Slim takes his place.
"Let's beat it out of here," said Col. Lindbergh one
night at a theater party recently in New York. "I'm tired
to death, I want to go to bed." On the way to his hotel
someone started to talk about aviation: it was half past
four in the morning when Slim turned in! "He'd have
been talking yet if we hadn't gone away and left him,"
one of his friends told me. And how the man can ask
questions when he comes across anybody who appears
to know more than he does about any phase of aviation!
"The only time I ever saw Undbergh when he seemed
completely happy was when he was getting into his
plane to start off on a flight - any flight," Casey Jones,
veteran pilot and head of the Curtiss Aviation Service,
WASHINGTON
///
(l1ArTA, N('('GA "
//
H O O S T ~   /
Map of Lindbergh's air visit to southern neighbors
told me. "He doesn't feel at home or seem at ease any-
where except in the air."
That's just it. He isn't at home anywhere except in
the air; but in the air is where he lives.
"Few people know that Lindbergh planned his Paris
flight for more than a year," J. T. Hartson, of the Wright
Company, told me. "He went at his preparations quietly
but thoroughly. The first thing he did was to come East
and talk with all the experts he could find as to the best
type of plane to use. He concluded a monoplane was the
thing, because of its lift and speed, and asked us to sell
him the Bellanca which Chamberlin later flew across in.
We had thought of going into the plane business as well
as making engines, and had engaged Bellanca to design a
ship for us, which we built. We wouldn't sell it to
Lindbergh though he offered a good deal more for ·it
than we afterwards got from Levine. We just didn't think
anybody ought to try to cross the Atlantic in a singl e-
motored plane. We didn't know Slim then. So he went
out to the Coast and got the Ryan people to build him a
plane. And if you don't believe that he knew just what
he wanted, and stood over the job to make sure that he
got it, you don't know Slim. There isn't anything about
a plane or an engi ne that he doesn't know.
"We didn't want to sell him an engine, either; we
thought he was taking too long a chance. If B. Franklin
Mahoney, president of the Ryan Airlines, hadn't had a
contract with us under which we were bound to deliver a
Whirlwind engine whenever he had a customer for it,
Slim never would have got his. Mahoney called me up on
the telephone from San Diego and talked me into ship-
ping the engine, but believe me, we gave it an extra
inspection and a few prayers before we shipped it."
Planning, studying navigation, learning everything he
could about weather and reading weather maps, getting
pictures of the terrain and the landing fields so that he
would know where he was and how to land, he is a flyer
who takes few chances. There's nothing of the daredevil
about Slim. He has had every kind of experience an
airman can have, except war; he has met and .conquered
every kind of emergency which can happen to a flyer.
Nothing frightens him, because he knows what his plane
can do, what his engine can do, and what he, Slim
Lindbergh, can do
Col. Lindbergh (the tall man in the foreground wearing a soft
hat) looks over his plane shortly before hopping off for Latin
America.
5
 
"The Spirit of St. Louis", alias "The Spirit of EAA ': just completed and ready for the U.s. Commemorative Tour.
"Before I ever saw Lindbergh's face I was sold on
him," Eddie Mulligan, dean of the Wright service corps,
told me. "I had been sent to look over his motor, and
the minute I saw that shiny nose of his plane circling
around for a landing, I knew there was a flyer inside of
her. Don't ask me how I knew it; you can't tell it in
words, but when you've seen as many planes and pilots
as I have you know without anyone telling you whether
the chap knows his controls.
"Well, he was sizing me up and I was sizing him up.
'Anything we can do for you?' I asked. He suggested
some things about the engine that might be looked after,
and I knew then that he knew all about it. And he could
tell, I guess, from the way I answered him, that I knew
what I was talking about. Anyway, he said: 'Whatever
the Wright people think ought to be done, go ahead and
do it.'
"He can spot an expert when he meets him, and he'll
do what the expert tells him. That's how he got by over
in Paris, as near as I can figure it. He spotted Ambas-
sador Herrick for an expert and let him tell him what to
do, and he knew Morrow in Mexico for an expert, too. It
takes a fellow who's got the stuff in him to recognize
expert advice when he hears it, and to act on it. "
Preparing and planni ng. Out at San Diego he was
studying navigation, with Lieutenant Eric Nelson, all the
while his plane was being built. When he came East he
took it up again with Bruce Goldsborough, treasurer of
the Pioneer Instrument Company, which built the earth
inductor compass that still guides Slim's flights. Slim had
his maps all marked off and learned by heart, mastered
every navigation instrument which one man could op-
erate in an inclosed cabin plane, long before he started .
And everything he could learn from Commander Byrd
and Chamberlin, who were planning a flight across the
ocean, he learned. When he set out on his trans continen-
tal tour he had prepared in the same way. Equally detail-
ed were his preparations for his southern flight. He
began to prepare to go to Latin America within a week
after he returned from Paris. And when he started he
had every scrap of available useful information.
One thing which worried Slim's friends when he set
out to cross the Atlantic was the fear that he would fall
asleep- a danger every experienced airman dreads in a
long flight . But Lindbergh had figured out the sleep
problem at the beginning; that was one reason he chose a
plane with an inclosed cabin; he figured that inability to
see above and ahead would be more than compensated
for by the protection against sleep-provoking wind, and
he invented his famous periscope to compensate for the
visual disadvantage of the cabin. And he had practiced
keeping awake, too, several times for 30 to 40 hours and
just before he started to fly East he stayed awake for 49
hours. Can you beat that for preparedness?
Slim had, as everyone remembers, less than two hours
sleep in the twenty-four preceding his start; he had
planned to go to bed early that night, but a late tel-
ephone call from Dr. James H. Kimball of the U.s.
Weather Bureau, telling him that the reports from the
Atlantic looked favorable, kept him on his toes most of
the night, preparing to hop off at dawn.
Nothing makes him so "sore," his friends say, as to
have it suggested that his flights are flukes or lucky
accidents. It was to disprove such suggestions that he
insisted upon going to Central America before the Spirit
of St. Louis goes into a museum.
"It figures out this way, when you're trying to
account for Slim," said Eddie Mulligan. "He learned how
to take care of himself and his plane and engine when he
was barnstorming. Then he was graduated from Kelly
Field and when a man gets through Kelly he's a real
flyer . Then he went into the air mail service, and if
anything can teach a pilot how to act in an emergency
it's the air mail. Fog and snow and sleet on the wings
doesn't make any difference to them. The mai l must go
on schedule."  
6
"We" Smash  More Records 
--- .. -- ~ ),---
  ~
~ L E G E N D ~
SAN 01£60 TO PARIS -----
WA5HINGTON TO /"IEXlCO _ ._ .,..-
AROGNO AMERICA .... • II
MI SCELLAN(OUS .._.•
ClHTlH.l AI'IER1GA ROUT[ - . ----.. -
When Col. Char les A_ Lindbergh touched the soil of
Central America on his latest "good will" hop, his fa-
mous mechanical partner, the Spirit  of St.  Louis,  had
carried him, altogether, 35,580 miles- nearly equal to
one and one-half times around the globe! And this with-
out sign of falte ring, and with only a few minor repairs.
While the world renewed its tribute to Lindbergh as a
genius of flight, engineers were acclaiming the triumph
of his silver monoplane as one of the amazing mechan-
ical performances of all time. Roaring at a speed far
faster than an express train's, the machine had within
seven months borne its pilot across the American con-
tinent, over the Atlantic Ocean, through every state in
the Union , and then to Mexico City and Guatemala. And
here it was, safe and sound, apparently as fit as ever!
Its air-cooled Whirlwind motor had run for more than
370 hours without a failure, surviving well beyond the
average life span of modern power plants of its type,
reckoned at 300 hours. And it was still turning
smoothly. Indeed, just before the 2000-mile trip from
ATLANTIC OCEAtJ
Lindbergh's  Plane 
Good  as  New  After 
Flying  35,580  Miles 
By 
ELLSWORTH BENNETT
Washington to Mexico City, the master mechanic at
Bolling Field, Washington, had gone over the plane and
had pronounced it in as perfect condition as the day it
left the factory!
The accompanying map shows the long trail of Lind-
bergh's remarkable flights since the day, last May, when
he hopped off from San Diego on his great adventure. It
constitutes a picture-record of unequaled mechanical
and human endurance.
Lindbergh's return from France was quickly followed
by a 22,350-mile tour of the country. This was complet-
ed without a single overhauling, and with no mechanical
difficulties or forced landings. Only one failure of sched-
ule occurred, when Lindbergh decided not to risk a land-
ing in the fog at Portland, Me. When, at the end of the
tour, the motor was taken down, mechanics found it
necessary to replace only bushings, a rocker arm and two
valves-after more than 32,000 miles.
Today the Spirit  of St.  Louis  is still good for many
more months of service. ~
Colonel  Lindbergh  and  the  Spirit of St.  Louis landing at 
the  Valbuena  Airport,  Mexico  Cityon "good will" flight 
to  Central America. 
Above:  General  Obregon  (with  glasses)  and  President 
Calles,  watching  Lindbergh  land on the Central American 
Tour. 
7
Teaching ~ ~ L i n d y   Navigation
Why  the  World's  Greatest  Pilot  Is 
Learning from  a  Tutor  the  ABC's 
of the  Science  of Finding  His  Way 
By  BOYDEN SPARKES
Lindbergh,  it  was  announced  recently,  has an  instruc- struments,  where  you  are.  Weems'  simplified  method 
tor  who  is  teaching  him  navigation.  To  most  people  this  reduces  this  time  to  forty  seconds  on  a  starlit  night,  or 
seemed  as  silly  as  if  President  Coolidge  had  engaged  two  minutes  by  day. 
someone  to  teach  him  political  economy;  or  as  if  Persh- An  air  mail  flyer  is  a  pilot,  not  a  navigator.  A pilot  is 
ing  had  begun  to  study  under a drill  sergeant.  essentia ll y  a  person  fami li ar  with  a given  course and  able 
Americans  had  thought  of  Lindbergh  as  the  world's  to  find  his  way  by  landm arks.  Norm ally  an  aviator  flying 
grea test  aerial  navigator.  So  he  is,  if  by  navigator  you  cross-co untry  is  provided  with  a  map  of the  region below 
mean  one  skilled  in  finding  his  way;  but mariners have  a  him.  Favored  by  good  weather,  he  flies  along a corridor 
more  precise  understanding  of  the  word.  As  a  matter of  about  eighty  miles  wide,  the  si de  limits  being formed  by 
Above:  Lindbergh's tutor in  the science of navigation,  Lieute-
fact,  Lindbergh  himself  has  explained  that  he  knew  his  ability  to  see.  His  map  may  show  a  railroad  running  nant  Commander  Philip  V.  W.  Weems,  U.S.N.,  demonstrates 
nothing  of  celestial  navigation  when  he  flew  from  New  parallel  to  his  course.  Dimly,  far  to one  side,  he  sees  the  the  simplest  method  of taking  bearings,  using  a sextant and 
the  wrist  watch seen on his left  arm. 
York  to  Paris.  Commander  Byrd  is  a  navigator.  Lind- smoke  of a  locomotive.  There  is  his  railroad!  He  swings 
bergh  is  a  pilot  skilled  in  following  a  course  by  dead  in  that  direction  and  follows  the  tracks.  If  he  has  been 
reckoning.  Any  cadet  at  Annapolis  knew  more  than  flying  105  miles  an  hour  for  two  hours,  he  knows  he  oning,  which  represents  the  highest  skill  in  piloting,  but 
Lindbergh  about  navigatio n,  until  the  Colonel  began  his  should  be  approximately  210  miles  from  his  starting  still  is  far  short  of scientific  navigation.  Before  h is  start 
st udies.  point.  The  map  shows  a  river  crossing his  course at right  he  had  plotted  his  course  on  a chart.  He  knew  the  speed 
To  understand  this  suppose  you  and  Lindbergh  and  angles  245  miles  from  his  starting  point.  He  begins  to  of  his  airplane.  But  how  did  he  keep  on  his  course? 
Byrd  were  motori ng  across  the  great  American  desert at  watch  for  that  river.  Soon  he  sees  ahead  a  dull  bronze  Fastened  in  the  little  window  above  his  head  was  a 
night  and  then,  on  a  map,  plot  a  course  to  the  nearest  ribbon  set  smoothly  in  the  checkerboard  of  cultivated  magnetic  compass.  But  this  instrument  was  of little  serv-
service  station.  By  the  time  this  is  published,  though,  fields  and  patches  of  woods.  There  is  his  river.  Assured  ice  to  him.  If he  had  been  a navigator  he  might  have  used 
Lindbergh  probably  will  have  learned  enough  of  naviga- that  he  is  on  his  course,  he  flies  on,  watching  now  for  a  it  effectively  to  determine  by  means  of  sun  or  stars 
tion  to  locate  his  position.exactly anywhere.  small  city  the  map  shows  to  be  about  ten  minutes  far- where  he  was;  but  since  he  was  not,  he  had  provided 
Lindbergh's  teacher  is  Li eutenant  Commander  Philip  ther  along.  That  is  piloting.  himself  with  an  earth  inductor  compass.  With  this  Lind-
V.  W.  Weems,  until  recently  commander  of  the  naval  A  motorist  mak ing  an  overland  journey  from  St.  bergh  knew  at every  stage  of his  journey  just  how  he  was 
supply  ship  Cuyama,  an  officer  quite  as  modest  in  Louis  to  Omaha  employs  the  same  kind  of skill  when  he  heading.  A dial  was  set  horizontally  near  his  right  hand, 
demeanor  as  Lindbergh.  When  "Lindy"  flies  nowadays,  "turns  right  at  X-roads"  or  "jogs  left  and  then  right"  at  with  a  little  crank  projecting from  its  center  and  with  an 
Weems  flies  with  him,  and  as  they  dart  through  the  air  the  stone  church.  The  aviator,  of course,  uses  a compass  indicator  needle  fastened  to  the  rim  of its  case.  A turn  of 
America's  most  famous  young  man  gets  his  lessons- to  aid  in  steering  toward  his  goal.  If  he  becomes lost  in  a  the  crank  caused  the  indicator  to  show  on  the  dial  the 
lessons  that have  been  so  simplified  that any  bright grade  fog,  he  may  swoop  down  close  to  land  and  read  the  exact  point  of  the  compass  toward  which  his  plane  was 
school  boy  probably  could  master  them.  legend  on  a  railroad  station.  A  motorist  would  achieve  heading.  On  that  splendid  instrument  he  based  all  his 
During  a  recent  visit  of  Lindbergh  to  San  Diego,  the  same  result  by  stopping at the  first  house  and  asking  calculations-but  he  was  piloting  by  dead  reckoning.  He 
Commander  Wee ms  told  the  trans-Atlantic  flyer  that he  where  he  was and  how  to  get  to  the  next  town.  That sort  knew  he  had  been  flying  so  many  hours,  at  such  and 
had  perfected  what  he  believes  is  a  "foolproof"  set  of  of thing,  on  land  or  sea,  is  piloting.  Generall y,  though,  a  such  a  speed,  with  a  wind  that  was  causing  him  to  drift 
navigation  instruments  for  flyers.  By  ordinary  methods  pilot  knows  all  the  landmarks and  guides  himself accord- from  his  course  a certain  amount in  each  hour. 
it  requires  from  fifteen  minutes  to  half an hour to  plot a  ingly. 
When  he  returned  to  America,  Lindbergh  confided  to 
position;  that  is,  to  find,  by  mea ns  of  navigational  in- Lindbergh  flew  from  New  York  to  Paris  by  dead  reck- friends  that  if  he  ever  made  another  trans-At lantic flight 

he would take a navigator ' with him. Experiences during
part of his flight showed him the value of such scientific
knowledge. While flying above the clouds at an altitude
of 10,000 feet, he could not read from the stars the
important information they have given to countless
mariners. He lacked the skill and the instruments to fix
his posiiton by the angle of certain of those stars from
the horizon. At that altitude he was almost certain that a
tail wind was helping him considerably toward his goal.
Yet to remain there would have meant abandoning the
one sure means of staying on his course-that of observ-
ing the direction of the wind and the drift of his plane.
I n the course of the night, lack of such observations,
which were possible only near the surface of the sea,
might upset his dead reckoning calculation by several
hundreds of miles. So he had to descend. If he had been
a celestial navigator then he might have ridden high on
the wind, saved gallons of gasoline, and reached Paris
earlier than he did; because he could have determined
just where he was by observation of heavenly bodies and
corrected h is course at any time.
The mariner on the bridge of a ship floating on the
sea and the aviator in the cockpit of his craft in the air
above the sea have the same problem when they seek to
determine their position with relation to the earth.
On a certain day of the year a Peary, or a Byrd,
standing at the North Pol e, might pivot on his heel once
in twenty-four hours and keep in view at all times the
sun on the horizon. On that .same day an observer on the
equator would see the sun rise out of the east, and at
noon glare down from directly overhead.
Daily those angles of the sun above the horizon alter
as the earth spins on its elliptical orbit about the sun.
Remember that the equator is a line of latitude. All the
lines marked on your globe as concentric circles, growing
smaller toward the poles, are circles of latitude. There
are ninety of the arbitrary divisions between the equator
and the North Pole, and ninety others between the equa-
tor and the South Pole. Each such division is further
divided into sixty parts called minutes. At noon take
your pocketknife and sight along the handle to the hori-
zon. Next lift the blade until it points to the sun. From
the same place of observation, at noon the next day, the
angle between handle and blade will be slightly different.
Tables have been worked out to show what those angles
should be at noon of every day in the year and at any
place on the earth's surface.
Navigators read those angles with an instrument
called, because its graduated metal arc forms one sixth
of a circle, a sextant. With this they measure the angular
distance between a heavenly body and the horizon by
means of a double reflection from two mirrors. In
comparatively recent times these finely made in-
struments have been improved by the addition of a spirit
level, the bubble in which serves the navigator as an
artificial horizon.
Wh en a navigator has determined the angle of the sun
above the horizon and fixed his position according to
latitude, only half his task has been done. He also wants
to know the precise degree and minute of longitude.
Every schoolboy knows that the meridians of longitude
run from pole 'to pol e, cutting across the equator at right
angles. The meridian on the globe marked "0" runs
north and south through a village on the Thames, below
London, called Greenwich. Ten degrees west of Green-
wich is another line of longitude. Ten degrees east is
another, and so on. These lines of longitude divide the
world for the mariner into degrees.
There are 360 of them, so that "0" at Greenwich
swings over the top of your globe and reveals itself in the
Pacific as "180."
A watch set to Greenwich apparent time shows how
far the sun is from Greenwich. When a navigator
observes the sun overhead five hours after Greenwich
apparent noon he knows he is in longitude seventy-five
degrees west. For such observations he uses a finely
adjusted watch called a chronometer, which is set to
Greenwich apparent sun time.
For night work he employs the same sextant that
serves him by day, a record of the altitude curves of
stars, and another chronometer which is set to Green-
wich Sidereal time. Sidereal means "of the stars."
There has been a tendency on the part of some aerial
pilots to scorn navigation. A few have scoffed at
Commander Byrd's emphasis on the necessity for
understanding navigation before risking trans-ocean
flights. Some have tried to silence arguments by referring
to the uncanny accuracy of Lindbergh's dead reckoning.
Most of them probably have believed that it would
require years of mathematical study to learn navigation.
For the man who is to direct a battleship fleet this is
true. For the pilot of an airplane it is not. He may learn
in a few weeks, even though his education stopped short
of finishing high School
A new word is going into the dictionaries before long
to accentuate the difference. I nstead of being called
navigators, the men who find their position in the air by
means of sun or stars will be called "avigators," and their
branch of the science will be "avigation." Navigation was
formed of th e Latin words "navis," meaning ship and
"agere," to move or direct. "Avis" means bird, and so
we now have th e word avigation just coming into use.
An avigator will be anyone capable of finding his posi-
tion in the air by means of radio, dead reckoning, pilot-
ing, or celestial navigation.
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
recently complete some studies which contain the essen-
tials of "avigation." This is the knowledge Lindbergh is
mastering. When he completes his studies under
Commander Weems, he will be able to find his position
at night in less than one minute. He will not need to
know astronomy, logarithms, or any form of higher
mathematics. He will "find himsel f" solely by observa-
tions of sextant altitude and watch time of two stars.
The altitudes of a pair of stars are plotted as curves by
this new method; and the point where those curve lines
cross one another gives a direct reading of latitude. At
the same time it reveals the amount of time that must be
subtracted from the watch to determ ine the longitude.
No correction to watch or sextant need to be calculated.
With these star curves, a chronometer, and a bubble sex-
tant, an avigator, flying above fogs and clouds, will be
able to identify his position as often as he likes.
Before flyers began to test their wings in trans-ocean
flights, all they had in the way of navigational in-
struments were a map and a compass, often out of
"whack" because of its proximity to the steel of the
engine.
But when they began to fly out of sight of land they
began to learn something about dead reckoning, that
faculty by which mariners, blinded by fog or the failure
of their navigational instruments, still keep some track
of their progress.
A blind man counting the cracks in the cement paving
blocks under his feet, keeping track of the street in-
tersections he has crossed, is traveling by dead reck-
oning. If he forgets the number of streets crossed since
leaving his starting point, he is lost until he asks someone
to tell him where he is. Aviators, flying over the trackless
ocean, unless they are navigators, are like blind men.
Most pilots who have attempted trans-ocean fl ights have
not been navigators.
Mariners see in the appalling death list of these daring
men and women a cause not apparent to most people.
9
/
.fndbergh used for dead-reckoning.
A mistake on' 4ead-reckoning cannot be determined until
the end of the flight.
Lower: Celestial navigation gives a constant corrected posi-
tion.
They believe some of those lives might have been saved
if the lost flyers had understood navigation.
I t was because naval officers are obi iged to be naviga-
tors that Commander John Rodgers, flying in his PN-9
plane from California to Hawaii in September, 1925, was
able to save the lives of himself and his crew, when
forced down on the sea by lack of fuel. For ten days
Rodgers and his men were accounted lost. But they were
never lost. Using the same instru ments he would have
used if his craft had been a battleship, Commander
Rodgers established his position. He was 300 miles from
his destination . Sails were improvised and day after day
he and h is men worked nearer and nearer to the small
tropical islands.
But when the Dole prize was offered as an induce-
ment for aviators to make another try for a nonstop
flight from California to Hawaii, many planes and many
lives were lost. One, the Golden Eagle, is believed to
have passed to the north of the Hawaiian Islands, and to
have flown on and on over the ocean waste search ing for
the land they had failed to find by dead reckoning, until
their fuel gave out.
Only a navigator could have performed the feat of
Commander Byrd in flying to the Pole and return over a
triangular course. Only a navigator could have been sure
when he arrived at the North Pole. Wilkins was a naviga-
tor. So was Peary. They had to be.
Chamberlin, flying with his passenger, Levine, from
Long Island to Europe, was inexpert in navigation. He
flew by dead reckoning; but it is significant that Cham-
berlin and Levine did not announce their destination.
"Rome or Berlin" was all they would say in advance of
their departure. That left them a wide margin of error,
with still the prospect of a safe landing "somewhere in
Europe."
As a typical example of what aviators flying by dead
reckoning are up against, there is the case of the Bremen
flyers, Koehl, Fitzmaurice, and Von Huenefeld, who
were lost in the air when they sighted the lighthouse on.
Greenly Island. A savage storm had upset their calcula-
tions by dead reckoning. They knew they had reached
land, but what land they did not know until they were
told.
Lindbergh, Chamberlin, and Byrd, on their flights
from America to Europe, were not bothered so much by
compass variation as were the pilots of the fl ights from
Europe to America. Unless taken into exact account,
that variation would have mislead all of them into flying
northward off their course into the almost uninhabited
wilds of Labrador. Drift indicators, too, operate only
where there is good visibility, and at least we know none
of those westward flyers experienced good visibility.
Everything tended to make their dead reckoning less
exact than the marvelously efficient reckoning of Lind-
bergh:.,.
This explains why aviators, yarning with one another
about the tragic attem pts to fly from Europe to·
America, wonder if some of the missing planes are not
actually hidden in the wastes of Labrador. It is even
possible, some of them believe, that North America
actually received Nungesser and Coli and their White
Bird; Hamilton, Minchin and the Princess Lowenstein-
Wertheim; St. Roman and Mouneyres; Captain Hinch-
liffe and Miss Mackay. Once they lost track of their
progress they were as lost as children who stray into the
woods. Whether any of them are imprisoned in those
Northern woods is a secret that may not be revealed to
this generation.  
1C
,
Lindbergh s Great  Partner 
M echanical Marvels of the Monoplane, EnKine and
Precision Instruments That Carried Him to Fame
By FRANK PARKER STOCKBRI DGE
Interior of the monoplane's cockpit,
showing instruments and controls by
which Lindbergh guided himself to
Paris with almost uncanny precision.
Lindbergh is seen at the little window
of his inclosed cabin. Driving mecha-
nism of earth inductor compass. Power
is generated by a tiny windmill at the
top.
"We," sa id Lindbergh. "My plane and I."
The plane first. Right. The courageous young flyer
coul d never have made his magnificent ocean hop with-
out a plane. Planes have flown without a pi lot, radio-
controll ed; one may yet fly pilotless from New York to
Paris. Bu t that is another story. This is about Lind-
bergh's pla ne.
Give Lindbergh, the man, every last ounce of credit
for courage, judg ment and flying skill, yet his plane and
its equipment had to be as good of their kind as he is of
his kind. What is it like, then, this last word in airplanes?
How does it differ from other planes which previously
had tried long-distance flights and failed?
The Spirit of St. Louis embodies all that has been
learned about airplane design and construction since the
Armistice. The war taught aircraft designers a great deal,
especially about bui lding fighting planes. But-
No airplane which was in existence at the signing of
the Armistice, on November 77, 7978, equipped with
any engine which was then in existence, could have
made the flight which Lindbergh made.
War demanded high speed, great maneuverability, a
high ceiling and power with which to climb to it quickly.
Peace time aviation calls for safety, stability, endurance
and reliability, minor considerations in fighting planes
intended for short flights at top speed.
I n its elemental design, Lindbergh's plane embodies
one lesson learned from war. I t is a monoplane.
American aviation began with biplanes, and America
has stuck consistently to biplanes ever since, until re-
cently. France began with monoplanes. Had it not been
for Glenn Curtiss's victory with his biplane, when he
won the first international aviation trophy at Rheims, in
1909, American aircraft designers might have considered
the monoplane a little more seriously in the early days
of the . art. But the Curtiss's victory was regarded as a
triumph of the biplane, regarded as the safer and more
stable of the two types and capable, as was dem-
onstrated at Rheims, of even greater speed.
England followed America's lead, in the main, with
the resu lt that the great majority of the airplanes used
by the Allies in the war were biplanes. But some of the
11
Wright Whirlwind motor which drove the Spirit of St.
Louis 3647 miles without missing a stroke.
French monoplanes proved their superiority in many
respects, and when the war ended students of aviation
generally agreed that the one small plane which had
given the best account of itself, on either side, was the
German Fokker, designed by a Dutchman from French
models.
That stimulated the development of the monoplane
after the war, for commercial use. I n America only one
successful monopl ane had been developed in 1919, by
Grover Clevel and Loening. Today at least eight of the
most widely-known makes of airplanes have but one pair
of wings. It was a monoplane, the Columbia-Bellanca,
which carried Chamberlin and Levine on their record
hop to Germany, and which previously established a new
world's record for sustained flight. It was in a Fokker
monoplane that Commander Byrd crossed the North
Pole. All three of the planes that lined up on Long Island
in May last, preparing to fly to Paris, were monoplanes.
And it was in the smallest of them all, the little Ryan
monoplane, that Charlie Lindbergh first flew across.
Yet one of the comments which Lindbergh made
about his experiences and observations in Europe was an
expression of surprise at the greater development of the
monoplane in France.
Lindbergh's plane is but slightly modified from the
commercial type of the same make which is regularly
used in carrying air mail between Los Angeles and
Seattle, via San Francisco. I t is what is known as a sem-
icantilever monoplane, with the wings located above the
fuselage. I n the commercial pl ane of this type, the pilot's
seat is directly behind th e wings, while the compartment
for mail, express matter or passengers is under the wings.
The first change made from the standard design was
to fill this cargo space with large tanks to hold the 300
extra gallons of gasoline needed to carry the flyer across
the Atlantic; the next, to inclose the pilot's cockpit,
putting a roof over his head and an entrance door on the
right of the fuselage, with a corresponding window on
the left. The three regular tanks, which carry 153 gallons
of gas, enough for 500 miles, are located between the
wings, over the cargo space, and inside the body of the
machine .
The new location of the gas tanks was chosen for two
reasons; first, to put all the weight in front of the pilot,
so that he would not be crushed between the gas tank
and th e engine in case of a crash; the second, to reduce
the length of the gas line from tank to engine, thereby
lessening the danger of the gas line becoming clogged.
The longest gas line in Lindbergh's plane is barely two
feet.
Four hundred and fifty-two gallons of gasoline, the
amount with which Lindbergh started off, weighs some-
what more than a ton and a half, instead of the 750
pounds of mail or passengers which the standard Ryan
plane is designed to carry. This extra weight necessitated
increasing the lifting area of the wings. Further weight
was added not only by the enlarged wings but by the
necessity of lengthening the standard fuselage, to coun-
terbalance the shifting of weight forward.
So ten feet was added to the length of the wi ngs,
giving them a spread of forty-six feet. This, it proved,
was sufficient to lift the initial load of 5,150 pounds
with wh ich the Spirit of St. Louis started across the
Atlantic. As the wings are almost exactly seven feet
wide, from front to back, their area is 320 square feet;
the lifting capacity of sixteen pounds to the square foot
demonstrated on the Paris flight might easily be exceed-
ed, although the design of the wings of Lindbergh's
plane is for speed rather than lift.
The rule in airplane construction is "thin wings for
speed, thick wings for lift." This plane's wings are only
about eight inches through at the thickest point. They
are made of spruce ribs shaped to what is known as the
"Clark Y" section, held in place by wires, and covered
with cotton fabric treated with "dope," a solution of
cellulose in acetic acid which stretches the fabric and
keeps it taut.
One interesting departure from standard practice in
the wings is the location of the ailerons, the "I ittle
wings" which operate to control lateral balance, and are
hinged to the after edge of the main wing structure, one
on each side. When the plane starts to tip to the right, a
slight movement of the control lever or "joy stick,"
swings the right aileron downward and the left one up-
ward. This reduces the wind pressure on the lower side
of the left wing and increases it on the corresponding
surface of the right wing, bringing the plane back to an
even keel . The ailerons, too, enable the flyer to "bank"
the machine in turning, and so avoid side-slips. In Lind-
bergh's plane the ailerons, instead of being attached to
the wings at the extreme ends, where they are usually
placed, are cut in about two feet from the wing tips to
increase the rigidity of the wings.
The fuselage, or body, of the plane, is suspended
from the wings by wooden struts, streamlined, or shaped
to offer the least resistance to the wind, and fastened
with steel connections at all joints. Forward of the wings
the fuselage is covered with a metal cowl, to protect the
working parts of the engine. The fuselage itself is built of
seamless steel tubing, covered with stretched fabric sim-
ilar to that used on the wings. The horizontal rudders, or
elevators, and the vertical rudder, at the extreme rear of
the fuselage, which operates precisely like the rudder of
a boat, are of wood covered with fabric. Everything
about the fuselage is streamlined, to give the least pos-
sible resistance in flight. The only exceptions are the
nine cylinders of the engine, which require air resistance
for cooling, the landing wheels, and five projecting
tubes.
Three of these projecting tubes, bent at right angles
and projecting above the center of the wings, are vents
for the gasoline tanks, to prevent accumulation of vapor
which might explode. Projecting more than two feet for-
ward from the lower surface of the left wing is a slender,
forked tube, the Pitot tube which actuates the speed
indicator on the aviator's instrument board. And from
the top of the fuselage, about a third of the way from
the wings to the tail, a four-inch cylinder projects ver-
tically into the air about a foot.
This cylinder is the housing of the driving mechanism
of the earth inductor compass, which will be described
later. It carries at its upper end a tiny windmill which, at
a speed through the air of seventy miles an hour o.r
more, generates enough power to run a small dynamo
concealed inside the fuselage. (Cont. on Page 75)
1 :

".

" '
'
Above: Col. Lindbergh is greeted by U.S. Consul, ..
Taggart, immediately after beaching his aircraft at Belize, -
Honduras, on February 4, 7929. (Photo courtesy of Giles
R. Taggart, J r.)
By: Robert G. Elliott
7227 Oakwood Ave.
Daytona Beach, Fla. 32074
Mr. Giles R. Taggart, Jr., semi-retired, of Daytona
Beach, Fla., was most generous in providing an opportu-
nity to examine his photo scrapbook not many months
ago. Prompting the occasion was the untimely death of
Charles A. Lindbergh, and the forthcoming 50th anni-
versary of his Paris flight.
Mr. Taggart had at one time lived with his family in
Beli ze, Honduras, where his father was the U.S. Consul.
Shortly after 'Slim' Lindbergh's Atlantic flight, a re-
ception in his honor was held in Washington, D.C. at
which time Mr. Taggart Jr., was introduced to the avia-
tion hero. A friendship began, and was renewed two
years later when Lindbergh made the first Air Mail flight
to Belize.
Above: A motorcade through Belize in honor of the
First Air Mail, with Col. Lindbergh riding on top of the
rear seat. He wears the broad banded felt hat. (Photo
courtesy of Giles R. Taggart, Jr.)
Below: Col. Lindbergh walking around the S-38 during a
pre-flight examination prior to takeoff from Belize.
 
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Vintage Machine s
Lindbel'gh

2 7
Left: Composite photograph depicting Lind-
bergh's historic Atlantic flight on May 20, 7927.
An original of this reproduction is the property
of this writer, R. G. Elliott.
Above: Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, flying a
Sikorsky S-38, landing at Belize, Honduras, Feb-
ruary 4, 7929. (Photo courtesy of Giles R. Tag-
gart, Jr.)
Below: With one engine shut down, Col. Lind-
bergh sits on the forward deck while his com-
panion P.A.A. pilot prepares to shut down the
remaining engine.
     
The heavy wooden "legs" to which the landing
wheels are attached are streamlined, as are the bracing
struts which hold them in place. They are hollow for
part of their depth, to receive the plungers attached to
the independent axles of the wheels. These plungers act
on concealed springs when the plane lands; and the
wheels themselves are cambered, or set at an angle inclin-
ed inward from the vertical, to prevent undue spreading
when alighting or "taxiing" over rough ground.
So much for the plane itself; but a plane is useless
without an engine, and the engine of Lindbergh's plane
is as up to date as the plane.
In two important particulars this Wright Whirlwind
)-5 motor represents an advance over anything which
was in general use when the war ended. It is air-cooled,
and its nine cylinders are arranged in a circle around a
central crank shaft, thus reducing the length and weight
of the shaft and crank case. This type of design, in which
the cylinders are stationary, is known as a radial engine.
Constant improvements have made this Wright Whirl-
wind the most dependable aviation motor now in use. It
is standard equipment on twenty-five or more makes of
airplanes. It supplied the motive power for Commander
Byrd's flight across the North Pole, and for Chamberlin's
flight to Germany in the Bellanca monoplane. And it
took Lindbergh more than 3600 miles without missing a
stroke in any of its nine cylinders.
As the shortening of the crank shaft and its housing
reduces the weight of the engine itself, air-cooling
reduces the plane's load still further, by doing away with
the radiator and its contained water. Moreover, all dan-
ger of freezing is eliminated.
In Lindbergh's engine the rush of the machine
through the air, at from seventy to 135 miles an hour,
produces a current of air which is intensified by the
back-wash of the propellers, and which carries off the
heat generated by the explosions in the cylinders. The
cylinders themselves are machined from steel forgings,
with external annular or ringlike fins at carefully-
determined distances, to give the largest possible radia-
tion area with the least air resistance. The cylinders have
a bore of 4.5 inches and the piston stroke is 5.5 inches,
the nine giving a displacement of 788 cubic inches,
which produces about 225 horsepower at 1800 revolu-
tions per minute at sea level. At high altitudes the power
is reduced.
Lindbergh's engine weighs approximately 508
pounds, equipped and ready for operation, or just over
two and a half pounds per horsepower. Lighter engines
have been built; Liberties have produced above 500
horsepower with an engine weight of 880 pounds. But
there was the additional weight of the watercooling
system to be added, so that in practice Lindbergh's en-
gine is about as light as any which have proved able to
stand the strain of continuous flight.
The outside diameter of the engine is forty-five
inches; its length from the front of the propeller hub to
the point of attachment with the fuselage is only
twenty-seven and one half inches, though the housing of
the crank case projects six and one half inches farther
back. An ir;1genious triple-action carburetor, with three
barrels supplied by a common float, feeds gasoline to the
cylinders through three three-way manifolds, each serv-
ing three cylinders. The exhaust manifold is circular and
leads down to a point directly below the forward end of
the fuselage. All of the working parts of the engine
except the pistons are machined from special alloy
steels; the pistons are of cast iron. The crank shaft is
mounted on ball bearings. Ignition is by a dual magneto
system.
That is the engine which pulled Lindbergh and his
plane 3647 miles, from New York to Paris, in a singl e
flight, in 33 V2 hours, an average of 108.7 miles an hour,
on 432 gallons of gasoline and 11.8 gallons of oil. That
figures out a gasoline consumption of 12.9 gallons an
hour, or about 8.4 miles to the gallon, a record which
would rejoice the heart of many a driver of a high-
powered automobile. And the oil consumption is even
more remarkable, 309 miles to the gallon, or more than
seventy-seven miles on a quart of oi I. The average speed
of the engine, Lindbergh reported, was 1600 revolutions
per minute.
To drive this engine, keep this plane in equilibrium in
the air, and find his way across the trackless ocean, Lind-
bergh had at his command a collection of controls and
instruments, most of them common to all airplanes, but
two, at least, as unfamiliar to the ordinary groundling as
they are to most airmen. Those two are the earth induc-
tor compass and the periscope.
Fixed in the little window over his head, which gave
him light and ventilation, Lindbergh had a magnetic
compass; but the magnetic compass alone is of little use
in the air .. Not only does its successful use require an
exact knowledge of the navigator's position and the var-
iation of the needle from the true north to be expected
in that latitude and longitude, but its needle, in flight , is
Above: First model of the earth inductor compass,
the invention of Maurice M. Titterington (left), which
enabled Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis to
reach the Irish coast at a point only three miles from
the planned course.
_<p/
Above, Lindbergh's speed timer. At right, speed and
drift meter whjch enabled him to calculate angle of
drift and speed. At extreme right, the indicator of the
earth inductor compass. All the way across, Lind-
bergh watched the little hand on the dial, which told
him of any deviation from his course.
15
never co nstant to the pole.
The earth inductor compass, invented within the last
five years by Maurice M. Titterington, chief engineer of
the Pioneer Instrument Company of Broo kl yn, is the
latest and most useful of all the aids to aer ial navigation.
Its principl e is based upon the fact that the earth's rev-
olutions in space generate electromagnetic lines of force
which flow in a north-and-south direction, from pol e to
pole. The earth is, in short, a huge electromagnet .
As every student of electr icity knows, a dynamo
consists of a coil of wire, or armature, rotated at right
angles t o the lines of force of an electromagnet, or field.
It follows, then, that if a coil of wire is rotated rapidly
enough at the proper angle to the earth's magnet ic field
it will become a dynamo and generate current. This cur-
rent will flow through the coi l in the same relation to its
pol es as does the magnet ic current in the field, and it can
be taken off from the armature pol es by mea ns of
brushes and led through wires to perform whatever work
it is capabl e of.
An interesting fact not often remembered is that the
angle at which the brushes make contact with the ar-
mat ure poles determines the potential of the transmitted
cur rent. And thi s is the fact on which the earth inductor
compass is based.
Below the little windmill sticking out of the fuselage,
al ready referred to, is a small armature, revolving on a
vertical axis and hung on gi mbals so that it is always at
right angles to th e earth's magnetic field. The littl e wind-
mill supplies the power to keep it rotating. The very
faint current taken off from this ti ny dynamo, of which
the earth itself is the fie ld, is carried to a galvanometer
or indicator mounted on the instrument board in front
of the pil ot. Wh en the brushes are set so that no current
whatever is being taken off the generator, the galva nom-
eter needle points to zero.
In Lindbergh' s machine the brushes are set so that the
hi ghest output of the generator is obtained when the
brushes are respectively north and so uth of the ar matu re
poles, and the potential is zero when the brushes are east
and west.
Now, to fi nd out the direction in which he was flying,
Lindbergh had recourse to the third element of the
combination of devices which make up the inductor
compass- the controll er. This is a dial set horizontall y
near hi s right hand, with a little crank projecting fro m its
center and an indi cator needle faste ned to the rim of the
case. On the di al are marked the points of the compass,
with figures corresponding to those on the galvanometer,
north being indicated by ze ro. This dial is mechanically
connected with the generator brushes, by a flexibl e
shaft.
The aviator turns the crank of the dial, rotating th e
brushes upon the poles of the ar mature. The littl e gal-
va nometer needle creeps bac k to ze ro as the brushes
reach the east-and-west position. Bu t the dial has moved,
with the crank, precisely the s ~ m   number of degrees
and minutes as th e brush es themse lves have moved, and
the indicator on the dial points to the exact point of th e
compass toward which the plane is heading.
It sounds compli cated, but is one of the si mpl est
devices possible, and its accuracy is far greater than that
of a magnetic compass. Its variation is seldom more than
three or four minutes of circumference from accuracy.
Small wonder that every time Lindbergh spoke of hi s
plane he praised thi s compass which enabled him to
cross the coast of Ireland within three miles of the point
at which he had ai med.
The other innovation used by Lindbergh to aid him in
hi s flight, and one which excited the derision of many
airmen - before the flight - is the periscope. This is
simpl icity itself. I magine two metal boxes, each about
the size of a common bri ck though somewhat longer ,
each ope n at one end so they will telescope one over the
other. Now set a mirror at an angle of forty-five degrees
in the end of each part, cut an opening opposite the
mirror, slide the two parts together so that one mirror
faces forward and the other backward, an d you have th e
essentials of Lindbergh's periscope. I t is faste ned to the
upper left corner of the instrument board of the Spirit
of St. Louis, so that the aviator can look at one mirror
and see there the reflection of whatever is reflected up on
the other mirror, when the outer end of the per iscope is
extended beyond the side of the pl ane. That is all there
is to it. It was added to the plane as an afterthought ,
when it was realized that the inclosed cockpit would give
the aviator no opportunity to see ahead of him. Crossing
the ocean that made littl e difference, but over land, and
especial ly in landing, abi li ty to look ahead was impor-
tant.
The rest of the apparatus in the cockpit of Lind-
bergh's pl ane is part of every air man's equipment. Chi ef
of the controls is the "joy stick," the lever which
controls the ailerons and the elevators. Pull the joy stick
backward and the elevators at the tail of the pl ane turn
upward, the machine rises; push it forward and the
descent begins. Move the joy stick to the right and it
simultaneously depresses th e left ai leron and lifts the
right one, banking the plane to the right. A perfectly-
balanced pl ane will fly in a straight hori zontal line,
except for wind drift, without the pilofs hand l,Ipon the
joy stick. Constant consumption of gasoline, reducing
the head load and so changing the balance, made it nec-
essary to equip the Spirit of St. Louis with a device
whereby the elevatocs could be held in a slightly deflect-
ed position, which could be changed from time to time,
in order to let Lindbergh take his hand off the joy stick
long enough to set his co mpass control, eat a sandwich,
mark his chart or make entries in hi s log. Thi s device is a
lever just under the instrument board, at the pilot's left,
which can be locked into anyone of a dozen positions,
much as the emergency brake of an automobi le is lock-
ed. A third lever in the littl e cabin, close to Lindbergh's
left hand, is the gasoline throttle, controlling the engi ne
speed. And under hi s feet is the rudder bar; a pressure of
the right foot moves the rudder to the right and turns
the pl ane hori zontally in that direction, and vice versa.
In fro nt of the pilot, below the instrument board, are
cocks for tapping t he gasoline tanks as required. On the
instrument board , in addition to the periscope and
compass indicator, the clock, engine primer, lever for
controlling the gas mi xture at the carburetor, ignition
switch and oil pressure gage, which are similar to those
used in automobiles, the essentiall y aviation -indicating
devices are a tachometer, an incl inometer, a bank and
turn indicator, an air speed indicator and an alti meter.
Lindbergh told the reporters in Paris that he rose to a
height of ten thousand feet to get above a sleet storm,
which threatened to bring him- down because of the
weight on his wings. How did he know he went up ten
thousand feet? The altimeter is-the instrument that tells
the story of height. It is an aneroi d barometer, the prin-
ci pl e of which is th at if you exhaust most of the air from
a thin metal box with flexible and corrugated sides, then
seal the box, every change in air pressure on the outside
of the box will cause th e sides to bulge outward, if the
air pressure is reduced, or to bulge inward if it is increas-
ed. By connecting the sides of the box with a deli cately
adjusted needl e indicator, the change of air pressure
from one elevation to another may be indicated.
The sealed barograph which Lindbergh took with him
to provide indisputable proof that no landing was made
between New York and Paris, is merely an aneroid
baro meter co nnected with a clockwork mechanism
16
which records on a strip of paper every change in bar-
ometric pressure and therefore every change in altitude
over a given period of time.
An interesting application of a principle discovered
more than two hundred years ago by the French philos-
opher Pitot is the air speed indicator. Pitot found that if
one arm of an L-shaped tube was placed horizontally in
a stream of water, the height of the water in the vertical
part would increase in a certain ratio to the speed of the
flow. The same is true in a current of air, the pressure in
a tube around which an air current is flowing; increasing
in proportion to the speed of the air current. So the
straight end of the long Pitot tube which projects for-
ward from under the plane's left wing, far enough for-
ward to be out of the propeller's blast, is exposed to a
current of air whose speed is precisely that of the plane
itself as it rushes through the air. Midway between this
opening and the tube's other end is a flexible diaphragm
which moves with the increase or decrease of pressure,
and actuates · the dial in front of the aviator wh ich in-
dicates his speed through the air in miles per hour.
The other device to aid the pilot in determining his
speed is the tachometer, which operates like the
speedometer of a car, except that it shows engine revolu-
tions per minute instead of miles per hour. Eighteen
hundred a minute was the maximum reached by Lind-
bergh's engine, when he was climbing out of the sleet
storm off Newfoundland.
The remaining two instruments on the board the
inclinometer and the bank and turn indicator, complete
the pilot's information. The inclinometer tells whether
he is ascending or descending; also whether he is tilting
to the right or left. It is a highly necessary instrument
for night flying, when no horizon is visible; for it is a
curious fact that airmen are unable, under such condi-
tions, to tell by their own senses whether they are right
side up. The inclinometer works on the principle of a
spirit level. A horizontal tube of an alcohol and glycerine
mixture contains a bubble that shows by its position
whether the plane is tilted sideways. Below it on the
instrument board is visible one arm of a liquid filled
U-tube. The liquid level, changing with each dip or up-
ward tilt of the plane, shows the fore-and-aft inclination
from the horizontal. The bank and turn indicator, like
the first of the inclinometers, shows whether the plane is
flying on an even keel by means of a spirit level - and it
still registers zero, its central position, when the pilot
PERISCOPE 
INSTRUMENT  SOARD 
AIR  VENTS
/') 
LIFE  RAFT 
FOOD  COMPARTMENT 

 
COMPASS 
INDUCTOR  COMPASS 
GENERATOR 
RACK  FO'R 
TAIL  SKID
ACCESSORIES 
STORAGE  SPACE 
Above: The design and equipment of the Spirit of St. Louis.
This broken-away view reveals the mechanical features of
Lindbergh's monoplane that embody the last word in airplane
construction. The machine is only slightly modified from com-
mercial planes of the same make. Notice particularly the loca-
tion of the gas tanks in front of the pilot's cockpit.
banks at the correct slant to distribute the combined
strain of centrifugal force and gravity evenly over the
plane's wings. Its turning indicator, an application of the
gyroscope, tells the airman flying over unmarked spaces,
like the prairie or the sea, whether his machine is turning
to right or left without tilting.
The sensitive element of the turn indicating mech-
anism is a small air-driven gyroscope, operated by the
pressure obtained from a venturi tube. A venturi tube is
one constricted at some point in its length and tapering
or flaring outward in both directions. It serves to inten-
sify a low pressure of any fluid passing through it to a
much higher pressure at the point of constriction.
Through the venturi tube a powerful stream of air
sets the little gyroscope revolving. Once it is set spinning,
it will continue to rotate in a given plane so long as the
motive power persists and regardless of any change in
position of its supporting structure. So the little gyro-
scope inside of the turn indicator keeps merrily on its
straight-ahead way, no matter how much the plane may
veer to the right or the left, and the indicator on the
turn dial stays right .along with its parent gyro, telling
the aviator instantly whether he is steering a straight
course or not.
Is it any wonder that Lindbergh said "We"? Almost
as complex as his own human structure, many times
more sensitive in many respects, as delicate as a woman
yet stronger than the strongest man, with powers of
endurance and resistance which humanity hasllever even
approached, the Spirit of St. Louis carried him through
space with uncanny precision and terrific speed. How
can he help feeling that his plane is a friend, a comrade,
a personality?
'" 
17
What Lindbergh  Found 

Ey FITZHUGH GREEN
tn
Offers  of  Millions,  Offers of 
Marriage  and  14,000  Gifts 
in  Packages  Sent  to 
Atlantic  Flyer 
Through the crowded events that followed the great
flight to Paris, the author of this article was one of Col.
Lindbergh's chief aides. And in the swift preparation of
Lindbergh's book "We," he wrote several chapters
describing the welcoming receptions which the modest
aviator did not wish to write himself. Commander Green
also aided in handling Lindbergh's huge mail.
"Dear Lindy-"
Those two words, with variations, have been written
more than three and a half million times in the last four
months by peopl e of all races, colors and climes.
No one man in history ever received such a mountain
of mail as has Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh since that
memorable May 21 when he completed his lone flight
from New York to Pari s by plane. Between that day and
June 17, when he landed in St. Louis after an unprec-
edented welcome by mankind, there came to him, from
every corner of the globe, more than 3,500,000 letters,
100,000 telegrams and cablegrams of congratulation and
14,000 parcel post packages containing gifts, samples,
and articles for trade!
And even now, nearly four months after the world
first went mad over his magnificent feat, scores of sec-
retaries and postal clerks are still busy sorting and clas-
sifying the great piles of communications to the young
aviator, whose daily mail continues to be greater than
most of us receive in a month.
If we should suddenly find ourselves in Lindbergh's
place, the recipients of millions of messages, gifts and
pleas from young and old, the fortunate and the mis-
erable of almost every race and nationality, what should
we do about it? How should we feel and act?
Because I have chanced to be one of many to assist in
His Mail  Bag 
the giga nti c task of doing at least so methi ng about the
kindly milli ons who sent their congratulations and gifts,
perhaps I can help you put yourself for a moment in
Lindbergh's pl ace.
I know that when the first great bulk of cablegrams
and letters arr ived for " Slim " at the American Embassy
in Paris, he was deeply touched and profoundly interest-
ed. He was thrilled that thousands upon thousands
whose names were strange to him , and whose faces he
had never seen, should thus shower him with personal
tributes. And hi s first impulse was to read every letter,
and answer each in turn with his own hand.
But that first impulse soon changed to somet hing like
bewilderment when, on the second day after his arrival
in Paris, a large r00m had to be commandeered for the
first of this mail, and Ambassador Herrick assigned eight
of his own staff to handle the correspondence. By the
second night another tidal wave of cables, sweeping in
from America, swamped the secretarial force, which by
that time had been trebled. Even while the secretaries
toiled far into the night, they gave up all hope of answer-
ing each missive in the sea of white and yellow en-
velopes.
Not so Lindbergh. When, later, the deluge was repeat-
ed in varying degrees in Brussels, London and Cher-
bourg, he never quite gave up the idea of eventually
completing the appalling task of answering unseen mil-
lions who spoke to him.
The simply worded messages from mothers who pour-
ed out their hearts in joy at his safe landing- the letters
in the trembling hand of old age, or in the faltering form
of the very young-those other jubilant congratulations
from rulers, presidents, scientists, educators, busi-
nessmen, soldiers, sailors, clerks, street cleaners, even
tramps and beggars- all these voices seemed to hold him
duty bound, the while they overwhelmed him.
Only when he reached America, and received the full
volume of the welcome home, was he at last compelled
to throw up his hands in despair. In Washington three
Above: You too would scratch your head if you
had flown across the Atlantic and your congrat-
ulatory mail mounted to so many tons that it
would take you J50 years to answer all of the
messages.
1E
mail trucks brought him letters that had collected during
his passage home on the U.s.s. Memphis. A huge West-
ern Union bus with ten messengers carried the telegrams
for him. Ten one-ton trucks could not have transported
all the parcel post intended for his hand! In New York
scores of aides, clerks and stenographers struggled in vain
to keep pace with the ever rising tide.
Yet, withal, it required some argument to convince
the boy that personal acknowledgment would be beyond
the power of any man.
It was pointed out to him that a high speed business
executive with a force of expert stenographers might
average 200 replies a day. At that rate he might clean up
Lindbergh's stack of mail in about seventy years! Only,
before he could finish two thirds of it, he'd be dead of
old age!
Moreover, Lindbergh was reminded of the fact that
he knows neither how to dictate nor to typewrite. He
writes everything-even his book - in longhand. If he
should work at top speed on the letters every day, he'd
have the job done in about 150 years. The letterheads
alone in this mail of his, if placed end to end, would
stretch from New York to Denver. Stack all this mail in
a single pile, and it would reach 10,000 feet into the sky,
nearly to the height of Pikes Peak!
So, in the end, although in St. Louis a force of fifteen
secretaries of the Chamber of Commerce did manage in
six weeks to acknowledge 200,000 letters addressed to
him there, Colonel Lindbergh has had for the most part
to content himself with the hope that his unanswered
friends will see his predicament and understand.
Perhaps, after all, it is well that this is so. I have read
hundreds of the letters which Lindbergh himself never
has had opportunity to see. Many of them would tear at
his heart strings. While some offer opportunities for
wealth beyond the dreams of most men, others would
tug at his purse strings. If he should respond to a small
portion of the pitiful appeals for help contained he
would soon be impoverished. While he would be glad-
dened by the sincere generosity of everyday people, he
would be saddened, too, by the avarice, treachery and
deceit which my eyes so often read between the lines.
What a revelation of human character there!
The largest number, of course, were letters of
congratulation. Most of these were couched in the
simple, kindly language of home folks. I pick up one at
random and read : "Dear Colonel Lindbergh: Oh, we are
so happy you got there. May God bless and keep you for
your mother and for us." Such was the gist of thousands
upon thousands of messages from American fathers and
mothers
Not a few communications were amusing for the
"five-dollar" words they contained. One began: "Fair-
haired Apollo, your meteoric traverse of the sea, your
transcend ant victory over boundless space, shall thunder
down the avenues of time!"- And so on for several
resounding pages of closely written foolscap.
Requests for help came next. There were entreaties
more from small towns than from cities or country.
More came from women than from men. Nearly as many
came from youths as from adults. Girls wrote more than
boys in ratio of about four to one. Most writers put in
their addresses; many, their photographs.
One person out of five sent some sort of newspaper
clipping. Nearly one letter in twenty contained a poem
about Lindbergh or dedicated to him. More than 5,000
Lindbergh poems were written in all. About $10,000 of
return postage was received, and there was also some
based on purported old friendship, on relationship, on' cash. More than 400 Lindberghs had written to Slim by
past favors, and on the utter poverty of the writers.
I believe there was not a single man or woman of the
hundreds that worked on Lindbergh's mail who did not
shed many tears. So plainly grievous were many cases
that it shocked us, as I know it would have shocked
Lindbergh, to reali ze there was such abject misery in this
rich country of ours.
A widow wrote that she had been bedridden for
eighteen years. "A little money will do," she urged,
"maybe ten or fifteen dollars. That will give me a chance
to get new curtains for the room in which I have lain for
so many years."
Sick people, the financially down and out, struggling
widows, orphans, a wife who had left her husband and
was trying to earn an independent living, the discontent-
ed daughter who had sought her fortune in the city and
found only discouragement and failure - thousands of
these unhappy people felt called upon to lay their cases
before the young man who flew to Paris.
Some requests for help were more entertaining than
heart-rending. The owner of a small-town garage wrote
that he had been having trouble with valves and consid-
ered Lindbergh "just the fellow to help me out."
"I have ground the valves with carborundum dust and
on a stone," he said, "but they seem to leak. I want to
know what you think about this. You seem to know
your engines pretty well. Or else you would have broken
them down long ago. I t may be that I am not doing the
job thoroughly enough. You see I have had a good deal
of trouble lately. We live with my wife's mother. She
bothers Minnie (my wife) a little, especial ly in the eve-
nings. So next morning I 'haven't got my mind on the
job.
"Better write me direct to the shop, and don't men-
tion the mother-in-law. What I want is advice on valves."
Th e letters were in every conceivable form. More
were in longhand than in type; more in pencil than ink;
the time he reached New York, claiming close rela-
tionship and as king if he couldn't do something for them
now that he was the outstanding member of the family.
Next in number to the appeals for help came the
business offers. I doubt if Lindbergh will ever know the
extent of the promised fortunes of those offers. A
conservative estimate by a well-known banker is
$6,000,000.
More than half this amount was covered in perfectly
feasible moving picture contracts. One company offered
him about $500,000 if he would put in a few days doing
the star part in a picture that would represent American
home life. Another wanted him to do an air thriller in
twelve releases at $40,000 a release. Still another offered
him $100,000 to appear in a film in which he would
actually be married, the stipulation being that there be
close-ups of his face when he first met the girl that
appealed to him, and at the moment he was pronounced
her husband. For this unique pictorial study of emotion
it was said he would receive $1,000,000.
The most amazing offer he received in Europe was of
$2,500,000 for a flig ht alone around the world. Perhaps
the easiest money he could have made was a proposition
which involved about forty minutes of his time. He was
to get $240,000 if he would stand in front of a camera
which registered both voice and picture and read his own
first account of the flight across the Atlantic as publish-
ed in the press. He could have made about $300,000 by
letting a talking machine concern make a record of his
story in his own voice, the reading to be bracketed by
the Marseillaise and the Star Spangled Banner pl ayed by
a big orchestra.
Lindbergh knew of most of these entici ng offers, but
in every case he declined them graciously but firmly. He
seemed determined not on ly to devote himself to his
chosen calling of aviation, but jealously to guard against
the danger of cheapening eit her himself or the achieve-
19
f
Above: Postmaster General, checking part of
Lindbergh's Washington mail.
ment for which the world had honored him.
In his mail were countless smaller offers of whicr he
never knew. Typical among them was an invitation to
become a partner in the operation of a chain of small
stores. As a special inducement the man who made the
offer agreed to let Lindbergh use his name on the store
windows! "You will find me a good fellow to deal
with," the man wrote as an added attraction, "I don 't
get angry very often, and when I do I usually go away,
so will not fight."
Next in order of their numbers came "mash notes."
These were to be expected. Lindbergh is young, and
famous, and good looking. He doesn't drink nor smoke
nor dissipate. He is full of health. Though he resisted all
business offers save his book and his story in the news-
papers just after his arrival in Paris, this money with the
$25,000 Orteig prize which he won, has given him a
comfortable fortune.
Many has been the match made by a chance letter.
Youth is full of romance. Why shouldn't the girls have
written Charlie how they felt? Most of us who had a
chance to read the letters were impressed by their sincer-
ity and decency. There wasn't the cheapness about them
that one might expect in the circumstances.
"I like yeur looks and believe you would like me"-
"We might hit it off; who can tell?"- "I believe if you
and I came to like one another we might be just suited"
- "Excuse me for writing, and I shall expect to hear
from you when you reach town." Frank and straightfor-
ward were most of the messages, written by wholesome
girls to a wholesome young man.
How did Slim feel about them? How does he regard
the flood of love notes and proposals of marriage? Well,
he never has said. Whenever the letters have been men-
tioned, he always has smiled his famous smile- and
changed the subject. I fear, though, that the thousands
of lovely young women - and elderly ones, too- who lost
their hearts to him, remain among the vast throng of
unanswered admirers.
Of all the letters, however, the most interesting to
me- and I know they would have appealed to Lindbergh
- were the ones that told about new inventions. True,
many of them made wild claims that never could be
substantiated; many were from obvious cranks; and
many talked more about the millions of dollars promised
in quick profits than about the practicability of the ar-
ticle. But the majority of them were of real and specific
interest, and showed promise in those who wrote them.
I think these inventions thrilled many of us who were
working on the Lindbergh mail, because they indicated
what terrific and countrywide energy is daily devoted to
mechanical development. If only one thousandth of the
inventions proposed to Lindbergh ultimately turn out to
be useful, transportation, communication, industry and
hygiene in America will be revolutionized in the next
five years!
Prominent among the creations which inventors
described to Slim applied to aviation. Hundreds of
young men proposed devices for stabilizing an airplane
so that it could not upset in flight. Most of them had
developed some new form of wing or automatic control
to make an accident al most impossible. Surely this
shows how intense is the effort to bring about safe fly-
ing. Many sketches for new kinds of parachutes were
submitted; parachutes for the plane as well as for pilot
and passengers.
One mechanical genius wrote: "When you come to
my town I want to show you an engine I have built that
will run for twenty-four hours on a gallon of fuel, and
run strongly enough to pull your Spirit of St. Louis at
twice the speed you made across the Atlantic." He only
hinted at the chemistry of his marvelous fuel and the
mechanics of his super-engine.
Then there were inventions that had nothing remote-
ly to do with Lindbergh or aviation. The fact that the
flyer had been so resourceful and successful seemed to
indicate that his genius might be applied in almost any
line. Slim is scarcely a horseman, yet a retired mariner
wrote asking him to join forces in a device to prevent
horses from running away by the simple method of fix-
ing a boat davit to the car or carriage, by mean s of which
the runaway animal could be hoisted off the ground
during the period of his frenzy!
Innumerab le letters contained proposals for improv-
ing radio. Chief among these were ideas for television,
distant radio control, power transmission by radio, and
airship guidance with radio waves.
A large number contained requests for aid in perfect-
ing "sure fire" perpetual motion machines.
A college professor wrote that he thought Lindbergh
might be interested in helping him perfect a gun which
would sink any battleship in the world with one shot.
I read at least three proposals that Lindbergh join in
an attempt to reach the moon by a rocket shot from the
earth. There was one plan to communicate with Mars.
Other plans outlined to the flyer were for making gold
from sea water and diamonds from carbon, and for find-
ing buried treasure.
A "biologist" very seriously solicited Lindbergh 's
interest in a scheme for grafting wings on monkeys until
the method was successful enough to tryon a man.
"And I know of no better person," the writer earnestly
went on, "than yourself for the first human experiment.
If you will sit down and talk with me you will see that
the idea is not nearly so fantastic as it sounds."
I think that would appeal to Slim more than any of
the others!
There were not a few vague but palpably dishonest
schemes for getting rich quick. One was "a brand-new
counterfeiting device which is absolutely secret, Colonel
Lindb ergh , and will turn out real ten-dollar bills quicker
than the eye can follow!"
An extraordinary number of letters offered help to
Lindbergh. Many people apparently believed he would at
once settle down, build a house, get married and have
children. This meant he would need furniture, bank
accounts, groceries, clothing, cradles, carpets, books,
medicines, and goodness knows what. Thousands offered
to supply him these arti cles at reasonable prices, in some
cas,es free, provided he would let his name be used as a
client of the manufacturer or retailer.
Thus his mass of parcel post included every sort of
article from safety razors to spare tires, most of which
were sent with the hope he would endorse them. There
were many gifts, too; such as cakes, hats, jewelry, hand-
kerchiefs, ties and candy.
A number of private gymnasiums and physical
instructors wrote eloquently about the strain he would
be under and suggested courses of exercises, some free,
some at varying costs.
It would take volumes to tell all that I saw in Lind-
bergh's mail. The things I have outlined briefly here
represent mere ly a cross section of what will long be the
greatest postal wonder in modern times, the finest exam-
ple of mass appreciation of a great feat by a splendid
youth.  
--r:;
20
Tracking the 'lost'
barnstorming pal
of 'Slim' Lindbergh
Leon Klink, at 79, remembers sharing
carefree life of an itinerant aviator
before Lindbergh flew to Paris and fame
The world remembers Charles Augustus Lindbergh as
a cool precision pilot who - 50 years ago next May- flew
solo from Roosevelt Field to Paris and hit Le Bourget
airport right on the button. It does not remember him as
a harum-scarum barnstorming boy aviator who cavorted
on airplane wings and who had a penchant for cracking
up practically everythi ng he flew in the mid-1920s. (And
when his survival possibly earned him the nickname
" Lucky Lindy.") And it certainly does not remember at
all the name of Leon Klink, one of Lindy's flying part-
ners in the days before the aluminum-cowled Spirit of
St. Louis skimmed across the Atlantic at nearly 110
miles per hour.
Yet there was something about this Klink that excit-
ed my interest a year or so ago when I reread We, the
book that was rushed into print two months after that
first, nonstop ocean crossing of 1927. The man was a
young Midwest automobile dealer. He had bought a
Curtiss JN4-Canadian biplane, commonly known as a
Canuck, for $750, and Lindbergh was to give him
instruction. They had in mind a pl easu re trip through
the South, then decid ed to go on to the Pacific Coast
and back, "barnstorming only enough," Lindbergh
wrote, "to make current expenses if possible."
Barnstorming meant taking locals aloft for brief
flights over their villages, for $5 each. Klink needed the
experience; Lindy was just passing the time while wait-
..
. . . .   , ~
Above: A passing sailor used Klink's camera to take this snapshot of Klink (left) and Lindbergh, the
latter in his trademark stance, posing in front ofa Navy flying boat on an Atlantic beach.
ing to hear whether he had passed the exams to enter
Brooks Field at San Antonio as a flying cadet. Both
needed the money.
Time ran out, thanks to various crashes. "I t was too
near the 15th of March to continue west," Lindbergh
wrote, "so we decided to take the Canuck back to San
Antonio where we would finish off the repairs and Klink
would continue on to California alone."
So far as We were, or was, concerned, that was the
end of Leon Klink. Did he, a novice pilot, ever get to
California? And get back? And whatever happened to
him, if not sudden death, while all those thinks were
happening to Lindbergh? Once I got curious about the
man and his fate, it became an obsession. I began to try
to track him and his story down. Whatever I discovered,
I felt, might add a new dimension to Lindbergh as a
person. Ultimately the quest was successful - Klink was
alive and well, then 78, minding his own business, right
in hi s own backyard, which was St. Louis-but along the
way to him I often felt like a frustrated Mr. Keane,
tracer of lost persons.
The closing words of Chapter Four in We indicated
that Klink took off alone in his Canuck for California
from Stinson Field, San Antonio, in mid-March 1924. So
I began my search for KI ink at Stinson. No one recalled
ever hearing of Lindbergh's being there with Klink and
his Canuck. No records were kept in 1924; in fact,
neither aviators nor airplanes were required to be reg-
istered or licensed back then.
The Canuck was the Canadian version of the Curtiss
JN3 ".J enny" World War I trainer. For some reason the
design included a leak-prone water pump above the car-
buretor air intake. Flyers joked about the water pump
By: Jack Keasler
234 E. LuI/wood
San Antonio, Texas 78272
Copyright 7976 Smithsonian Institution from
SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE MA Y 79 76
21
and  the  Curtiss  OX-5  engine  being  two  of  the  "108 
reasons  why  a  Canuck  will  set  you  down  anywhere,  any-
time,  without  warning." 
What  happened  to  Klink  on  his  first  day  out  from 
Stinson?  By  phone  I  talked  with  people  as  far  west  as 
Del  Rio,  some  170  miles  from  San  Antionio  on  the 
Southern  Pacific  railroad - the  S.P.  track  then  being  the 
"iron  compass"  that  aviators  could  follow  to  and  from 
the  West.  Nobody  remembered  Klink.  Some  oldtimers 
recalled  Cal  Rodgers  passing  through  in  1911,  to  be  the 
first  aviator  to fly  coast-to-coast.  (His  "Vin  Fiz"  is  in  the 
Smithsonian's  new  National  Air  and  Space  Museum, 
where  the  Spirit of St. Louis also  will  be  on  display 
starting  July  4). 
Had  a  leaking  water  pump  or  other  engine  malfunc-
tion  set  Klink  down  in  an  isolated  canyon  or  mesquite 
thicket?  A  story  goes  that  hunters once  parked  their car 
in  a  thicket  where  it  was  lost  for  17  years.  The  same 
th ing  cou Id  happen  to  a plane. 
The  Texas  Rangers  are  famous  for  finding  people-
not  all  of  them  like  Sam  Bass,  the  bank  robber,  or 
Bonnie  and  Clyde- but  also  decent folks  who  need  to  be 
located.  I  wrote  to  ask  if  their  records  could  shed  any 
light  on  Klink. 
While  awaiting  a  reply  from  the  Texas  Rangers,  I 
scanned  1924  newspapers,  with  little  luck.  There  was  a 
brief  story  about  four  U.s.Army  planes  leaving  Califor-
nia  to  attempt  a  flight  around  the  world.  But  there  was 
also  this  news  item  in  a  February  12,  1924,  St.  Louis 
paper: 
KLINK  MAKING 
CROSS-COUNTRY 
AIRPLANE  FLIGHT 
Leon  A.  Klink,  automobile  dealer  at  3435 
Juniata  Street,  is  dodging  the  cold  weather  in 
this  section  by  making  a  fl ying  trip  to  Florida, 
California  and  other  warm  sections  of  the 
county. 
Klink  recently  purchased  an  airplane,  and 
with  an  instructor  departed  for  a  flying  trip, 
headed  south .... He  states that he  will  go  from 
Florida  to California ... . before  returning  to St. 
Louis. 
The  "instructor"  was  Lindbergh.  Ht!  was  less  known 
then  in  St.  Louis  than  the  27-year-old  Klink,  a dynamic, 
successful  used-car  dealer.  The  omission  of  Lindbergh's 
name  was  not  Klink's  doing.  He  had  mailed  the  paper a 
penny  postal  from  Pensacola  and  the  paper  wrote  the 
story. 
The  Texas  Rangers  responded  promptly.  "We  regret 
we  are  unable  to  find  records  of a  plane  crash  in  1924 
involving  Klink." 
I  recalled  that  Arizona  Senator  Barry  Goldwater  had 
been  flying  since  1929.  I wrote  to  him,  and  asked  him  if 
he  knew  aviation  people  who  might  give  me  a  lead  on 
Klink.  Senator  Goldwater  wrote  that  he  was  putting me 
in  touch  with  a pilot  who  was an  excellent historian,  and 
that  this  pilot  knew  another  pilot's  widow  who  remem-
bered  "everything  almost  back  to  the  Wright  brothers." 
Soon  I  had  a  letter  from  Mrs.  Ruth  Reinhold  of 
Phoenix,  a  member  of  the  transportation  board  of  the 
Arizona  Department  of  Transportation.  Once  she  had 
helped  Barry  Goldwater.  He  had  built  up  about  200 
hours  of flying  time  but  had  allowed  his  private  license 
to  expire.  In  1939  Mrs.  Reinhold,  then  a  flight  instruc-
tor,  gave  him  a refresher course for  a commerical  license. 
She  also  taught  his  brother  Bob  and  his  sister  and  sister-
in-law  to  fly.  Mrs.  Reinhold  was  Goldwater's  pilot  for 
several  years,  starting  in  1962.  Now  she  wrote  me: 
"Klink  has  me  bugged.  We'll  find  him!" 
A faint  clue  turned  up.  Mrs.  Lola  Mayse  of  Phoenix, 
widow  of a  part-Cherokee  Indian  pilot  who  in  31  years 
of flying  piled  up  a total  of about 24,000 hours of fJyi ng 
without  injury  to  himself  or  a  passenger,  has  been  a 
friend  of  Barry  Goldwater  and  Mrs.  Reinhold  for  many 
years.  When  Mrs.  Reinhold  told  Mrs.  Mayse  about  the 
search  for  Klink,  Mrs.  Mayse  said,  "It seems  I remember 
my  husband  talking  about  Klink.  The  name  Klink  rings 
bells.  Let me  think about it." 
Mrs.  Mayse,  who  had  been  a  pretty  young  school-
teacher  at  Safford,  and  had  married  a  smi ling,  thin-as-a-
rail  barnstorming  aviator  named  Charles  W.  Mayse,  who 
flew  in  from  EI  Paso  in  1922,  was  the  first  of  all  the 
people  I talked  with  who  seemed  to remember  Klink. 
Through  various  state  governors  I  requested  a  search 
of vital  statistics  records,  offering  to  pay  if  need  be.  The 
responses  were  prompt;  there  was  immediate  action  in 
the search  for  Klink. 
So  now,  figuratively  speaking,  I had  riding  with  me, 
in  the search  for  Klink,  what someone  termed  "The  Lost 
Aviator  Posse."  They  included  Governors  Raul  Castro of 
Arizona,  Edmund  G.  Brown  Jr. of  California,  Jerry 
Apodaca  of  New  Mexico,  Christopher  S.  Bond  of 
Missouri  (Klink's  home  state)  and  Dolph  Briscoe  of 
Texas,  plus  Senator  Goldwater,  various  state  police 
departments,  museums,  historical  societies,  retired  old-
time aviators  and  others. 
Klink snapped by Lindbergh, on a barnstorming
stop the pair made at Friar Point, Mississippi.
Lindbergh taken by Klink at Camp Wood, where
a hotel sheet patched up Canuck's wing fabric.
22 
The  Canuck  bashed  in  the  side  of hardware  store  in 
Camp  Wood  when  Slim,  taking  off in  a  street,  failed 
to miss a utility pole. 
Lindberg called Klink "Lee," and Klink, like others,
c.alled Lindbergh "Slim." They set out from St. Louis in
January 1924, to barnstorm the South in Klink's
Canuck, and their trail from Missouri to Florida is easy
to follow. In Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi are
elderly people who once paid $5 for a short hop, with
Lindbergh at the controls.
From Florida to Texas the trail left by Slim and Lee
is a wake of shattered propellers, ripped and torn fabric,
broken wing spars, caved-in wheels and splintered
landing-gea,r struts. They reached San Antonio in Feb-
ruary 1924, a month ahead of Lindbergh's induction
date into the U.s. Air Service. They decided to fly on to
California in Klink's Canuck, using that "iron compass"
of the 1,434-mile Southern Pacific tracks from the
Alamo City to the West Coast. When Klink had asked his
buddy, "Do you think we can get across the moun-
tains?" Lindbergh had said, "It won't do any harm to
try. The mountains are lowest in the south, and we can
hit the  
It should be noted that Canucks (and all Jennies)
spoke a language that mesmerized pilots. Canuck "talk"
was a combination of sounds: the OX-5 engine rumbling,
clattering and popping as it turned at about 1,250 rpm
cruise speed, the beat of the propeller flailing the air, the
shrill singing of the wind in the some 250 feet of
exposed wire rigging, and the assorted vibrations and
rhythmic rattles of the airplane.
When they set out to follow the S.P. rails west, Slim
may have been listening to the Canuck "talking,"
because he didn't pay attention to time in the air,
mistook the Nueces River for the Rio Grande, and
became lost. The day's flying ended with Slim landing
the Canuck on a street in the small Southwest Texas
town of Camp Wood.
Two days later he tried to take off down a side street,
having to steer the Canuck's 43-foot, 7Yz-inch wingspan
between two telephone poles 46 feet apart. As Lind-
bergh recalled it in The  Spirit  of St.  LouiS,  "I thought I
was rolling precisely along the center of the street, but I
failed by three inches to clear the right-hand telephone
pole. I jerked the throttle shut, but it was too late. The
pole held my wing, while ... momentum carried the
fuselage around and poked its nose right through the
board wall of a hardware store."
A great racket ensued as pots, pans, skillets, washtubs
and pitchforks tumbled to the floor. This was followed
by a delayed thump when the portrait of Cal Coolidge
fell from the wall of the post office in a nearby store.
Slim and Lee offered to pay for repairs, but Warren
Puett, the hardware merchant, refused the offer. The
advertising value, he said, was worth the cost of repairs
to his store.
Slim and Lee slept in Mr. A. L. Fitzgerald's hotel. The
story goes at Camp Wood that Slim told Mr. Fitzgerald
he was going to swipe a bed sheet to patch holes in the
Canuck, but Fitzgerald said, "For goodness' sake, Slim,
steal a clean one! I don't want that airyplane flyin'
around covered with a dirty sheet."
When the Canuck was repaired (it flew slightly side-
ways), Slim took the Fitzgeralds and others up for rides
to repay them for their kindness. Then Slim and Lee
again headed for California. They might have made it
except for a Spanish bayonet plant the Canuck couldn't
clime over on takeoff after a landing near Maxon, Texas.
The plane broke a wing spar. While Lee road a freight to
EI Paso to get repair parts, Slim stayed with the Canuck
and lived with a rancher.
But by now they were out of time. When the wing
was repaired they flew the Canuck back to San Antonio,
where Lindbergh soon would become an air cadet, and
where Klink would set out alone in the battered Canuck
for the trip to California. That was where Klink's trail
had ended.
At last, on Friday the 13th of June 1975, just 71
days after I began my search for Klink, clues unearthed
by "The Lost Aviator Posse" enabled me to locate him.
A letter from Pat Weiner, reference specialist for the
State Historical Society of Missouri, told how she had
found a Leon A. Klink in St. Louis city directories for
...... 
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Klink  has  kept letters  from  Lindbergh,  like  this  note 
from  Kelly  Field,  where  the  fledgling  cadet was  trans-
ferred six months after his enlistment. 
1922, 1925, 1928 and 1966. He was listed as a salesman,
then as owner of an automobile sales company, and
finally as being a retired person.
Checking birth records, I found that Klink had a son.
The son gave me his father's unlisted telephone number.
I dialed and a strong, clear voice said "hello."
"Hello," I said, "are you Leon Klink?"
"Yes, this is Leon Klink."
"The Klink who barnstormed with Lindbergh in
1924?" I asked.
"The same," he answered. "Who is this?"
I explained that I was a writer who, with the help of
Senator Barry Goldwater, the governors of five states,
the Texas Rangers and many other people, had sought to
discover the fate of aviator Klink about whom Lind-
bergh wrote in his books.
With unaffected modesty Klink said, "I'm surprised
that all these people have been concerned and have gone
to the trouble to locate me. After 50 years I can't
remember things as Mr. Lindbergh did in his books, but
I'll do my best to tell you about him, and what hap-
pened after I took off alone for Californ ia."
23
An unimpressed personnel man at Brooks
Field didn't manage to spell the name
correctly or even to get the correct initials.
I said, "You just referred to him as Mr. Lindbergh."
"Yes," Klink "replied, "I was five years his senior but I
have a reverence for him as a great man and I feel easier
calling him Mr. Lindbergh. He stayed in aviation but I
didn't and, although our interests were different, we
stayed in touch. The last time I heard from him was
when my wife Gladys and I observed our 47th wedding
anniversary. He sent his congratulations and best wishes
for our happiness and long lives."
Less than a year later, in 1974, Lindbergh's life was
ended by cancer.
Gladys and Leon Klink treasure a hand-scrawled note
from Lindbergh dated "Oct. 12, '26" which begins with
"Dear Lee, i' was very sorry to be unable to attend your
wedding and wish to send you my best wishes even at
th is late day."
Apparently with nothing else to write about wed-
dings, Lindbergh devoted nine of the letter's 12 lines to
flying. Engine failure a couple of weeks before on an
emergency trip to Wichita had set Lindbergh down on
the farm of J. G. Keilholz, who, as Lindbergh wrote,
"reminded me that you and I had landed in the same
field with the Canuck three years ago." Lindbergh got
the engine running, he wrote, "in the afternoon follow-
ing." Keilholz had provided Lindbergh a bed, supper,
breakfast and lunch.
A few months after being Mr. Keilholz' nonpaying
guest, Lindbergh was sleeping in embassies, being
honored by kings and queens, and receiving Raymond
Orteig's prize of $25,000, which had been sitting in a
bank since 1919, ready to be paid the first aviator to fly
nonstop from New York to Paris.
A few days after my first talk with Klink, he sent me
a penciled note in a firm, steady hand, recalling the
events of a half century ago.
"The plane was flown {after the collision with the
Spanish bayonet at Maxon} to a San Antonio air field
for final repairs and I left Mr. Lindbergh and kept going
west until I came to Calif. a week or 2 later. When I
finally got to California I knew I would need a car if I
would see what I wanted to so I bought a car (instead of
using the Canuck), an old Model T Ford Tour, which I
used in Calif. and even Mexico. After over a month I
decided to leave for home, so I sold the old car and
started back east, and finally got to San Antonio where
again I saw Lindbergh."
Klink's letter made the California-and-return solo trip
sound as uneventful as a crosstown bus ride.
I phoned Klink again and asked if it all had been that
simple. He said, "I had some accidents, but didn't get
hurt. Mr. Lindbergh had showed me how to use rope,
haywire, and some auto and tractor parts to fix the
Canuck."
Some old-time pilots may dispute this, but I told
Klink I thought he may have been the only pilot to fly
an OX-5-powered Canuck west over the Continental
Divide, and surely the only one to make a roundtrip over
this hazardous route in a plane designed for short
training flights over low-altitude country.
"I don't know about that," Klink said. "Maybe I
made it because I weighed only about 140 pounds and
the Canuck was flying light with nobody in the front
seat. I did what Mr. Lindbergh told me to do, to stay out
of clouds, keep the Canuck's nose down and to not get
caught out after dark."
The desire to fly long distances was deeply ingrained
in Lindbergh, Klink said. "He had extra tanks installed
on the Canuck to increase its range. He lashed cans of
gas to the fuselage and leaned out in mid-air and poWed
After a takeoff by Lindbergh at Pensacola, the Klink
Canuck flopped on a sand dune, its landing gear and
propeller shattered.
gas from them into the main tank through a hose when
the main tank was low.
""Once I had a can of gas in my lap in the back seat,
and tanks also were lashed to the cabane struts, and all
of this gas weighed so much the poor old Canuck
couldn't climb over about 200 feet. I threw my can
overboard so we could gain altitude. Lindbergh watched
the can falling earthward and shook his head sadly when
it burst on impact.
"Fooling around with gas like that was dangerous,
but Lindbergh had confidence in himself. He took
chances with his life, like on the flight to Paris."
Lindbergh's triumphal return to Lambert Field at St.
Louis after his solo flight to Paris was described by a
newspaper reporter, in part, as follows:
"How tired he looked. A tall boy, with a shock of
touseled hair-a boy freshly shaved, but with the grime
of travel on his face. Although the crowd shouted in
frenzy for him to smile or laugh or do something, he
simply stood there-a glum young man, some 6 feet 2
inches in height, whose eyes told the story of how tired
he was.
"Smile, Slim! Smile, Slim!" sang out a girl with a
camera. Everybody laughed but Slim.
"The only show of emotion was when Leon Klink,
his old flying partner, reached over the holding line and
grasped his hand.
"Glad to see you, Slim," said Klink.
" 'Same to you, Lee,' responded Slim."
Before either of them could say anything about the
old Canuck, or talk about the days of old, a shoving
mass of humanity separated Slim and Lee.  
24
he  First  Plane  to  Germany 
GASOLINE  TANK 
IN  WINGS 
By
George Lee Dowd, Jr.
One minute before Clarence Chamberlin soared aloft
in the sturdy Bellanca monoplane Columbia for his
record-breaking flight from New York to Germany, the
first "air passenger" to Europe climbed 'into the cabin-
Charles Levin, backer of the flight. Levine, it is true,
"worked his way" across the ocean; for besides the du-
plicate instr uments he watched during the flight, he
relieved Chamberl in at the controls, now and then, to
give the pilot a wink of sleep.
Nevertheless, whi le it took a Lindbergh to blaze the
first air trail, alone, over the Atlantic to France, it
remained for Chamberlin, in his flight to Germany, to
first give the world a prophetic glimpse of actual pas-
senger travel in an aerial cabin above the ocean.
By the time you read this, there may be other trans-
ocean fl ights, other overseas air passengers. New wonders
. in aviat ion are following one another in bewi ldering
succession. What next? What new accomplishments may
we expect in the coming weeks and months?
W  hat  Aviation  Experts Say  About  the  Atlantic 
Flights  and  the  Future  of  Ocean  Air Commerce 
EXTRA GASOLINE
TINS 
COMPASS 
Above: Design and equipment of Chamberlin's mono-
plane Columbia. Virtually every part, even the wing
struts, was made to increase the plane's lifting capacity.
In messages to POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, a
number of America's foremost aviation authorities have
given us their impressions of the trans-Atlantic flights
and their significance to future air travel.
"Where these men have pioneered, others wil l fol-
low," reads a telegram from Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick,
Chief of Air Corps, U. S. Army. "Speeds and pay loads
will be increased . Ocean air lines will be organized, and
ten years will make commercial air traffic over our
oceans the ru le rather than the exception."
Vindication of the air-cooled motor for aviation, with
the hope of trans-ocean air lines in the future, is the
concrete result of the flights, declares Rear-Admiral
William A. Moffett, U.S.N., Chief of the Bureau of Aero-
nautics. "Such rapid progress is now being made," he
wires, "that no one can tell what will happen next.
American aeronautics is on its way to even more remark-
able successes."
Ocean-going commercial planes and mid-ocean land-
ing places may be built at any time now, believes Wm. P.
McCracken, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for
Aeronautics. Their construction awaits only the financial
backing that flights such as Lindbergh's and Cham-
berlin's will stimulate. "What," he asks, "is there to
prevent a regular trans-Atlantic air transportation sched-
ule within a period of, say, five years, if only the nec-
essary financial backing can be made available?"
Chamberlin landed at Eisleben, Germany, with his
last drop of gasoline gone- in accordance with his
announced intention of flying as long as his fuel lasted.
Had he been able to re-fuel at some mid-ocean fil ling
station he could have continued indefinitely. "Such
facilities are absolutely necessary to make commercial
flying on the Atlantic or any other ocean possibl e,"
wires E. R. Armstrong, inventor of the "seadrome," a
"floating airplane field" for this purpose. " I believe that
my experimental development of a seadrome unaffected
by waves, large enough for an ocean landing field, has
been adequately demonstrated and a practical and tested
anchorage system evolved so that commerical, everyday
duplication of Lindbergh's and Chamberlin's feats is a
matter only of finance and the relatively short time nec-
essary to build the structures. It may be a reality by
1930."
Chamberlin and Levine flew at all levels from seven to
seventeen thousand feet in an effort to dodge storms. At
one time Chamberlin even threw overboard some tanks
of gasoline, sacrificing the precious fuel to lighten his
ship and weather the storm. Before ocean flying can
become practical, the authorities agree, adequate weath-
er data must be available.
"Weather stations along the ocean," says Grover
Loening, noted aircraft designer, "coupled with develop-
ment of the seaplane to have an equally long range,
would resu lt in regular ocean flights within a period of
ten years."
25
"The  flight  has  not added  anything of moment  to  the 
science  of  aviation,"  was  the  surprising  comment  of 
Giuseppe  M.  Bellanca,  design er  of Chamberlin's plane.  "I 
knew  the  plane.  I  knew  that  its  motor  would  propel  it 
for  approximately  forty-eight  hours  with  its  supply  of 
gas.  All  that  had  to  be  done  was  to  get in  and  pilot  it.  It 
took  courage  to  do  it,  naturally,  but  simple  figures  told 
me  the  plane  would  get  there." 
One  reason  for  Bellanca's  confidence,  of course,  was 
the  fact  that  the  plane,  only  a  few  weeks  before,  had 
established  a  new  world's  endurance  record,  flying  for 
more  than  fifty-one  hours  without  stop.  Moreover,  the 
desi gn  of  the  ship  embodied  an  unusual  departure  in 
monoplane  construction.  Though  classed  as  a  mono-
plane,  it  is  technically  known  as  a  "sesqui"  plane,  or 
"plane  and  a  half."  I t  is  a  cross  bet ween  a  monoplane 
and  a  biplane;  for  besides  the  wings,  almost every  part of 
the  pl ane  helps to  lift  some of th e  weight.  Even  the  wing 
struts  are  built  with  a  wing  curve,  so  that they  lift  a  few 
hundred  pounds of the  total  load. 
Future  trans-Atlantic  planes,  Bell anca  pred icts,  will 
be  multi-motored  craft  rather  than  si ngle-engine  planes 
such  as  Chamberlin  and  Lindbergh  used.  I n  case  one 
motor fails,  there  will  be  enough  reserve  power  to  fly  the 
machi ne  with  full  load.  There  will  be  spacious  cabins, 
comfortable  berths  and  chairs  in  these  planes ;  and  pas-
sengers  will  buy  their  tickets,  get  th ei r  passports  and 
board  the  planes just as  they  board  ships  now. 
Will  his  prophecy  come  true?  Temporary  obstacles, 
chiefly  the  difficulty  of  carrying  heavy  fuel  loads,  are 
pointed  out  by  Glenn  Curtiss,  pioneer  airman.  "Trans-
Atlantic  flights  will  take  place  with  the  establishment of 
fill ing  stations,"  Curtiss  telegraphs,  "but  will  not  be 
commonplace  until  a  revolutionary  invention  in  motive 
power  is  acco mplished.  I  do  not  like  to  prophesy  when 
such  an  invention  may  occur,  but  it  is  a lready  in  the 
minds of practical  inventors. " 
E.  V.  Rickenbacker,  famous  American  flying  ace, 
predicts  that  within  five  years  "Americans  will  demand 
and  have  avai labl e  a  regular  oceanic  service  of  forty 
hours,  with  greater  safety  and  comfort  than  that  avail-
able  today  on  our  finest  ocean  liners." Second  Assistant 
Postmaster-General  W.  Irving  Glover,  in  charge  of  the 
U.s.  Air  Mail,  is  even  more optimistic.  "My  prediction," 
says  Glover,  "is  that  within  two  years  Leviathans of the 
air  will  span  the  ocean  between  America  and  Europe." 
 
Above: Clarence Chamberlin (left) and Charles
Levine, "passenger," at the nose of the Columbia
before hopping off.
LINDBERGH'S 
Career  Highlights 
April 9,  1922:  First flight,  Lincoln, Nebraska 
1922-1924:  Barnstorming,  stunt  fl ying. wing walking and 
parachuting 
March  14,1925:  Graduated  from  the  U.S.  Air Service 
Flying SchooL  Kelly  Field, San  Antonio. Texas 
April  15, 1926:  Chief Pilot,  Robertson  Aircraft Co. of 
St.  Louis.  first  mail  run  to  Chicago 
May 10-U, 1927:  Established  trans·continental air  record 
San  Diego  to  New York 
May 21).21,  1927:  Winner Orteig Prize  for first  non-stop 
trans- Atlantic flight  New York  to  Paris 
June  II, 1927:  Recipient  Distinguished  Flying Cross 
(first ever presented) 
July 21).October 23,1927:  Visited  82 cities  in  48 states, 
under auspices of Guggenheim  Fund  for the 
Promotion of Aeronautics 
December 13-14, 1927:  First  non-stop flight  Washington, 
D.C.  to  Mexico City,  Mexico 
December 14,  1927:  Awarded  the  Medal of Honor by Act 
of Congress for  his  non-stop flight  from  New York 
to  Paris 
1928-1931:  With  Mrs.  Lindbergh surveyed  polar route to 
Orient.  Also  mapped  North  Atl antic air  route  in 
30.000-mile  flight  to  Europe.  returning  to  U.S.  by 
way of South  Atlantic  rim  of Africa.  SOllth  and 
Central  America 
1930-1934:  Developed  perfusion  pump to  sustai n live 
organs outside  the  body in  cooferation with  Nobel 
Prize  Winner.  Dr. AleXISCarre  at  Rockefeller 
Institute.  Invented quick  method of separating 
serum  from  whole  blood  by centrifugal  force 
April  3, 1942:  Technical consultant to  Ford  Motor 
Company for  first  mass  production of warplanes 
1942-1943:  Test  Pilot,  P-47  Thunderbolt figh ter.  Medical 
guinea  pig  for  high-altitude tests at  Mayo Clinic 
April,  1944:  Civilian  Advisor in  the  Pacific Theater  for 
F4U  CORSAIR aircraft.  Flew  over  50 combat 
missions.Testing P-38s. he redesigned range of plane 
December 17,  1949:  1949  Wri ght  Brothers  Memorial 
Trophy  for "significant  pliblic service  of enduring 
value to  aviation"  . 
1949:  Special  Advisor to  U.S.A. F.  in  Europe. Advised  on 
Berlin  Airlift 
May,  1954:  Winner.  Pulitzer  Prize  for  Biography. "Spirit 
of SI.  Louis" 
1954-1974:  Conservation and  wildlife  preservation 
expediiions  and  exploration worldwide 
1965-1973:  Renewed  biomedical  research  on organ 
perfusion apparatus at  Naval  Medical Research 
Institute.  Bethesda. and  Department of Surgery. 
University of Miami 
1966-1972:  International  Board of Trustees.  World 
Wildlife  Fund 
1969-1972:  Presidential Advisory Commission on 
Environmental  Quality 
26